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Home Sales and Prices Continue Upward Trend Throughout St Louis Area

For the 12-month period ending July 31, 2017, as the table below shows, there were 36,741 homes sold in the St Louis MSA an increase in home sales of 13.35% from the prior 12-month period.  The median price of homes sold in the St Louis MSA during the past 12 months was $170,000, an increase in home prices of 3.66% from the prior 12 month period.

St LouisHome sales and price summary by county (see tables below for details):

  • St Louis City and County
    • Home sales Up 6.06%
    • Home prices Up 4.79%
  • St Charles County
    • Home sales Up 4.43%
    • Home prices Up 6.88%
  • Jefferson County
    • Home sales Up 3.77%
    • Home prices Up 6.54%
  • Franklin County
    • Home sales Up 11.42%
    • Home prices Up 5.89%

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St Louis MSA Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for complete and up to date information)

St Louis MSA Home Sales and Prices

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St Louis County/City Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for complete and up to date information)

St Louis County/City Home Sales and Prices

Copyright 2017 – MORE, REALTORS – All Rights Reserved

St Charles County Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for complete and up to date information)

St Charles Home Sales and Prices

Copyright 2017 – MORE, REALTORS – All Rights Reserved

 

Jefferson County Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for complete and up to date information)

Jefferson County Home Sales and Prices

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Franklin County Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for complete and up to date information)

Franklin County Home Sales and Prices

Copyright 2017 – MORE, REALTORS – All Rights Reserved

Homes Listed By Agents Net The Owner More Than For Sale By Owner- Even After Deducting Commission

Inman News, a popular source of industry news for real estate agents, recently published an article title “Agents sell homes for more than FSBOs: study”. In this article, the author cited a study done by Collateral Analytics which revealed that homes sold by real estate agents sold for a mean of 5.5% more than FSBO’s (for sale by owner’s).

Being the usual skeptic that I am and also being unwilling to promote industry propoganda just because it sounds good, I decided to attempt to do an analysis of my own based upon the St Louis market. So, what I did, was pull the sales for the past 90 days from the tax records for St Louis County of homes sold in the $150,000 – $250,000 price range (the bulk of the market), then matched up the sales with MLS listings to find the ones that appear to have been listed with a REALTOR versus the ones that were not.

I ended up with 728 sales for that period in St Louis county, 654 of which (90%) appeared to have been sold using a REALTOR, with the other 10% selling without the benefit of a REALTOR. Granted, without checking each sale individually it is impossible to say whether all of the remaining 10% were in fact FSBO’s but I think I have pulled a large enough dataset to allow for some errors but still be accurate overall.

The data shows that homes that were listed with REALTORS sold for a median price of $195,000 which was a median of 118.5% of the county’s assessed value (which is what I used for the benchmark). The listings sold FSBO, sold for a median price of $190,000 and at a median of 111.5% of the county’s assessed value. So, homes listed with a REALTOR sold for 7% more than FSBO’s. Given that the typical listing commission is less than 7%, seller’s that list with agents come out ahead financially even after taking into account the commission and they avoid the hassle, headache and risk of doing it on their own.

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Why Would You Do Business With Movement Mortgage?

Unfortunately today, when we see a headline such as the one in this article, we almost immediately think something bad…its’ hard not too. Considering everything we witness in life and see in the media day in and day out, it’s become normal to think “what have they done?..what are you going to tell me that is bad about them? What’s the dirt?”.

Well, I’m happy to say, I don’t have anything bad to say, I don’t have any dirt on them nor scandalous information but, please don’t stop reading because of that.:)

In fact I’m going to praise Movement Mortgage and it’s CEO Casey Crawford, not for the job they do with providing home buyers mortgages, nor the service they provide their customers, although both are great, but for what they do to give back to their community. I know there are a lot of great companies out there that give back, but I must applaud Movement Mortgage for not only doing so but doing so in a manner that is sustainable, will change for the good a neighborhood and, most importantly, have a positive impact on thousands of kids in the coming years. So, I”m going to answer the question why I think you would do business with Movement Mortgage.

What I’m talking about is something I heard about the other day, not from Movement but from a mortgage industry blog, The National Real Estate Post (NRP). On this blog, Brian Stevens of NRP interviewed Casey Crawford, the CEO of Movement Mortgage discussing a variety of topics including interest rates, Zillow leads, etc, however, later in the interview Brian asked Casey about “Movement School”. This is where I learned that Movement Mortgage had contributed $13 Million to buy an old K-Mart shopping center and build a new public charter school in a neglected part of Charlotte, South Carolina, the city where Movement’s National headquarters is located.

Please take a few minutes and watch this short excerpt from the interview to learn more about the school including an approach to “giving back” that, done in this manner, is sustainable for generations to come and could perhaps be a model for others.

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In the interest of full disclosure, my firm, MORE, REALTORS, has an advertising agreement with Movement Mortgage. The reason we choose to do this is because the way they operate their business, treat their customers, employees and community in a way that is consistent with our philosophy and how we try to operate our business. This article is an editorial by me, based upon my opinions and not an advertisement, nor am I or my firm receiving any compensation for it. In fact, while I did ask Casey Crawford for permission to use his video interview, he had no idea what I intended to write and will have the opportunity to see this article for the first time when I published it, just like you.

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – August 2017

The St Louis real estate market continues to be strong… Get the latest information on St Louis area home prices, sales and the market, as well as why this information is important and even a quick example of how we use this type of information to help our clients, in our just released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See howFairCommissionRate.com

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller’s market? Contact us and we’ll  answer that question for you.

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St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

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Should You Offer A Selling Agent Bonus When Selling Your Home?

This is another one of those topics where there are plenty of varying opinions however, for the sake of this article I’m going to take a look at it from purely a data-driven standpoint which, perhaps, is a little more objective approach.  While it’s not that common, especially in a sellers market like a huge chunk of the St Louis real estate market has experienced for some time now, there are currently just 185 active listings in the St Louis MSA offering an agent bonus so just a tad over 1 percent of the 15,546 active listings in the St Louis MSA. So, it’s pretty easy to establish that, currently, agent bonuses do not appear to be that common or popular.

But, do agent bonuses work?  Will my house sell faster, or for more money?

So let’s look at these questions now, all valid questions a seller may ask or consider when contemplating whether or not to offer the selling agent a bonus.  To do so, let’s again look at the data.  Since we have already identified the fact that listings with agent bonuses are a minuscule part of the overall supply of listings, it is really hard to do an “apples to apples” comparison of those listings with a bonus versus listings without, since the latter dwarfs the former in size as well as depth and breadth of market coverage, however, I’ll do my best.

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First, let’s stick with the St Louis MSA as a whole and see how things look.  As the tables below show, there were 36,734 homes sold in the past 12 months that did not offer an agent bonus.  These homes sold in a median time of 26 days, for a median of 96.88% of their original list price (98.36% of the list price at time of sale) and for a median price of $114.39 per square foot.  There were just 312 listings offering an agent bonus in the St Louis MSA sold within the past 12 months and those homes sold in a median time of 81 days on market, for a median of 92.27% of their original list price (97.38% of the list price at time of sale) and for a median price of $96.75 per square foot.

So, to summarize:

  • Listings without an agent bonus sold in 68% less time, received over 4% more of their original list price and sold for more than 18% more per square foot than listings with an agent bonus.

Clearly, from the data here, agent bonuses didn’t appear to benefit the sellers in any way.  Part of the reason I believe there is such a disparity here between with and without bonuses, is the reality is, (now I’m getting subjective) if an agent bonus is being offered it is usually an indicator of an underlying problem…an over-priced listing, poor location or condition, or something else that is impeding the sale.  Rather than wasting money on an agent bonus, I would suggest the sellers either apply that money toward fixing whatever the issue is with their home, including the list price.

 

Current Listings in St Louis MSA Offering Selling Agent Bonus

Current Listings in St Louis MSA Offering Selling Agent Bonus

Current Listings in St Louis MSA

Current Listings in St Louis MSA

Listings Sold In Past 12 Months in St Louis MSA Without a Selling Agent Bonus

Listings Sold In Past 12 Months in St Louis MSA Without a Selling Agent Bonus

Listings Sold In Past 12 Months in St Louis MSA With a Selling Agent Bonus

Listings Sold In Past 12 Months in St Louis MSA With a Selling Agent Bonus

Are Condos Or Homes A Better Investment In St Louis?

It’s no secret that here in St Louis we are little slow to embrace new trends or styles and that holds true when it comes to our housing market.  I remember when I first entered the real estate business in 1979 although condominiums had become quite popular in many metropolitan areas in the U.S. at the time, since the early 60’s when the popularity began to increase, they weren’t very common here.  I remember many early condominium developers in St Louis struggling to make a profit doing condo conversions (where multi-family properties were converted into the condominium form of ownership and units sold individually) as the pool of buyers was very limited.  Over time, condominiums have become much more popular in St Louis and we have seen some great developments, both new as well as rehab and conversion of old apartment buildings, warehouses, etc converted into condominiums that were well received by the St Louis market.

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Are St Louis condo’s a good investment?

One of the questions frequently asked by home buyers weighing their options between purchasing a condominium or a home, is which will be the better investment?  Granted, many people that choose to buy a condo are buying it because of the lifestyle most likely than from the investment perspective but, nonetheless, buyers still want to have some assurance that what they are considering doing makes sense.

There are many factors to take into account to determine which would be a better investment, a house or a condo, but for the sake of discussion here I’m focusing on the price per foot each have sold for over the past 5 years.  As the chart below illustrates, St Louis home prices as well as St Louis condo prices, have both enjoyed a steady upward trend over the past 5 years.  From 2012 through 2014, both condos and homes in St Louis, increased at about the same rate however, in 2015, the tend lines crossed paths and condo prices started increasing at a lessor rate while home prices continued at about the same rate, or maybe a little higher even, than before.  Digging into the numbers on the chart a bit (you can click on the chart to go to the “live” version which will reveal all pricing data as you move your mouse over the lines on the chart) we see:

  • In 2012, homes sold for $88/foot while condos sold for $91/foot
  • In 2015 both sold for $106/foot, an increase of 20.5% from 2012 for homes and an increase of 16.5% for condos
  • Thus far in 2017, homes have sold for $117/foot and condos for $113/foot.
  • Since 2012 St Louis metro home prices have increased 33% while St Louis Metro area condo prices have increased 24%.
  • Based upon this data, homes have yielded a better return than condos and, of late, the price trend for homes has been somewhat better than condos.
  • Condos are a lifestyle decision therefore, the lower return may be a secondary consideration.  In any event, condos certainly appear to be a safe investment in St Louis even if homes may have a higher potential return on investment in general.

St Louis MSA Condo Prices vs Home Prices – Past 5 Years

St Louis Condominium Prices VS Home Prices - Past 5 Years

St Louis Metro Area Cities Where Homes Have Sold The Slowest In the Past 30 Days

The St Louis real estate market is hot, but there are some areas that are not as hot as others and are slower selling.  While the hottest St Louis markets are seeing homes sell within a few days on average, there are some markets where homes are taking much longer to sell.  Granted, as the table below shows, there are only two on the top 10 slowest markets list where the average is over 100 days (and still well below historic average times to sell) so even the slow markets, are pretty good today!

On the list of the ten slowest selling neighborhoods, 4 of the cities are in Illinois, 3 are pretty far out of St Louis, leaving 3 cities in the St Louis area on the top 10 list.

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Ten Cities In St Louis Where Homes SOLD The Slowest In The Past 30 Days

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Ten Cities In St Louis Where Homes SOLD The Slowest In The Past 30 Days

Cities In The St Louis Metro Area Where Homes Have Sold The Fastest In The Past Month

The St Louis real estate market continues to be like the weather, hot!  Many neighborhoods through the St Louis area continue to enjoy a seller’s market, largely driven by a shortage of homes for sale, creating a low inventory.  So where in the St Louis metro area are homes selling the fastest?  While you would need to click on the list below to go the live data for the latest information from our site, as of the day I wrote this, Vally Park was number 1 on the list.  During the past 30 days, homes that sold in Valley Park were on the market an average of only 4 days before selling!

All ten of the cities on the Top Ten list of fastest sold cities are in Missouri with eight of those being in St Louis County.  On the Illinois side of the river, Swansea was the first St Louis Metro area city on the list, coming in at #13.

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Ten Cities In St Louis Where Homes SOLD The Fastest In The Past 30 Days

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Ten Cities In St Louis Where Homes SOLD The Fastest In The Past 30 Days

St Clair County Illinois Real Estate Market Outperforming Madison County Illinois Market

The Mississippi river clearly defines the Missouri/Illinois state line in fact it does so much so that it is often easy to forget that nearly half (8 of 17) of the counties that make up the St Louis MSA are located in Illinois. Granted, many of these are smaller counties, in fact Illinois has 6 of the 8 smallest counties (by population) in the St Louis MSA, however, Madison County and St Clair County, both with roughly 260,000 people, are the 4th and 5th (respectively) largest counties in the St Louis MSA.

Therefore, I decided to take  look at the real estate markets in those two counties to see how they are doing as well as howthey compare to one another.  As the STL Market Chart shows below, over the past two-years, the price per foot for homes sold in both counties has increased, while the time it took to sell homes decreased dramatically.  For Madison County Illinois, the median price per foot for homes sold increased 2.3% over the past 24 months while St Clair County Illinois saw a 6.6% increase in home prices during the same 24 month period.  The time it took to sell homes, days on market, declined 43% in Madison County and declined  55% in St Clair County over the past 24 months.

Madison County, Illinois Home Prices and Sales – Past 12 Months-

Beneath the chart is a table showing home prices as well as other data for homes sold in Madison County, Illinois, during the past 12 months.  As the table shows, there were 3,372 homes sold, in a median time of 46 days, and at a final price equal to a median of 95.19% of the original asking price.

St Clair County, Illinois Home Prices and Sales – Past 12 Months-

Beneath the chart is a table showing home prices as well as other data for homes sold in St Clair County, Illinois, during the past 12 months.  As the table shows, there were 2,962 homes sold, also in a median time of 46 days, and at a final price equal to a median of 95.58% of the original asking price.

So while the St Clair market out performed the Madison County market in terms on home price appreciation during the past 24 months, as discussed above, the two markets are very similar and are both performing well.

Madison County Illinois vs. St Clair County Illinois – Median Price Per Foot and Median Days on Market – Past 24 Months

(click on chart for live chart with current data as well as additional market information)

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St Louis Home Prices And Sales Increase From A Year Ago

For the 12-month period ending June 20, 2017, as the table below shows, there were 36,447 homes sold in the St Louis MSA an increase in home sales of 2.08% from the prior 12-month period.  The median price of homes sold in the St Louis MSA during the past 12 months was $169,000, an increase in home prices of 4.0% from the prior 12 month period.

St LouisHome sales and price summary by county (see tables below for details):

  • St Louis City and County
    • Home sales Up 3.67%
    • Home prices Up 3.75%
  • St Charles County
    • Home sales Up 3.90%
    • Home prices Up 7.50%
  • Jefferson County
    • Home sales Up 2.3%
    • Home prices Up 7.26%
  • Franklin County
    • Home sales
    • Home prices

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The Importance Of Accurate St Louis Home Price Data for Sellers and Buyers- Prices Down 19%?? Or Up 8%??

Yes, I often harp on the importance of having accurate information when it comes to the St Louis real estate market and, admittedly, am a data nerd, however, considering that a home sale or purchase is generally one of, if not the, largest financial transactions a person makes, I think it’s worth the effort to get it right.  This is why at our company, MORE, REALTORS, we have spent thousands and dollars and thousands of hours of work over the course of several years to develop software for our agents, and clients, that provides what we feel is the most accurate and relevant information out there when it comes to St Louis home prices and sales information.

Yesterday, after I arrived at my destination for a lunch meeting with my business partner, I pulled out my iPhone and opened the RPR® (REALTOR® Property Resource®) app (only available to REALTORS) to see what it would show me about the real estate market for the area I was in, which was Sunset Hills (63127).  The app correctly identified my location and then showed the information on my screen that I show below.  While I liked the look of the screen, it was definitely ascetically pleasing, I immediately noticed the rather large “-19.2%” on the screen next to “Median Sales Price – 12 Month Change”.  What??? Was I that out of touch I thought, could home prices in the Sunset Hills area really have fallen over 19% without me, the data nerd and, in some peoples opinions, “market guru”, even noticing?  While I don’t know exactly what is meant by the label on the app, whether it is for the most recent month compared with the same month a year ago, what I do know is one way or the other they are indicating a big drop on home prices which would be very scary to me if I were a homeowner in that area, and very concerning to me if I were considering buying.  

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St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – July 2017

Home prices are cooling slightly as we transition from the spring market to the summer market… Every year we see home prices reach their peak in the spring market which, depending on weather, the economy as well as other things, could be May or June typically, and then fall slightly as we go into the summer months.  This year is no different and we are seeing the normal seasonal change in home prices but St Louis continues to have a strong real estate market and continues to favor sellers for the most part.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

 

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Is There a Connection Between St Louis Population Shift and Home Prices?

Yesterday, I did an article about the population shift in St Louis in which I included data showing the the city of St Louis has lost population every year for the past six years (the period covered in my article) while St Charles County and Jefferson County experienced population growth every year during the period.  So, today, I decided to see what has happened with regard to home values in these counties and whether anything value-wise seems tied to the population shift.

Below is a 10-year chart, showing the median price per foot (one of the most accurate ways to look at home prices) for each of the 5-counties that make up the St Louis core-market.  As the chart reveals, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be any correlation between home appreciation and population shift.  Below is a quick analysis:

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St Louis Population Shifting Outward

Recently, the U.S. Census Bureau released the 2016 population estimates revealing that the city of St Louis continues to lose residents while outlying counties like St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin grow and St Louis county remains relatively stagnant.

As the table below shows, over the past 6 years the city of St Louis population declined almost 2.5% while St Charles County grew by nearly 8.5%.  Both St Charles County and Jefferson County have enjoyed annual growth in population since 2010 while Franklin County grew every year but one.  St Louis County has followed a different pattern than the rest with 3 years of growth, a small decline in 2014, 2015 went back to 2013 levels nearly then 2016 gave up everything gained in the prior years falling back to a population lower than in 2010.  St Louis city has continued to decline in population year after year for the periods shown.

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St Louis Population Trends 2010-2016

St Louis Population Trends 2010-2016

City of St Louis Has Best Home Affordability In St Louis Area

It’s good when the value of your home increases, right?  Yes, generally, most homeowners, look at their homes as an investment in addition to shelter for their families so they are generally happy to see the value of their investment increase.   The flip side of it is, homebuyers, particularly first-time buyers, would, of course, like to see lower prices and better value in the home they buy.  The thing that helps balance out these competing interests is inflation, but more specifically, the rate of income growth.

Not to get into an economics lesson here (which I’m not qualified to teach anyway) but if homebuyers incomes increase at about the same rate as home prices (ditto for interest rates) then, more or less, the “affordability” of a home to a buyer remains the same.  Problems arise when those things get out of whack, such as in the period from about 2000 through 2007 when home prices were increasing at a much higher rate than incomes were (and interest rates rose too making it even more fun) which eventually led to the housing bubble burst in 2008 and the real estate market crash.

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What To Look Out For In Credit Repair Companies

The housing bubble that led to the housing bubble burst in 2008 started a decline in the value of homes, including those in St Louis, for the following 3 to 4 years.  This resulted in a much larger number of homeowners facing financial struggles including late payments, foreclosures, short sales, bankruptcy and the like, than was the historic norm.  As a result, while maybe not a new concept but certainly one that had been more obscure in the past, credit repair, became a lucrative and growing business as consumers sought to repair the damage done and position themselves to buy a home.

In St Louis, there are many companies offering credit repair services, with many making some pretty enticing sounding claims with regard to removal of negative items from your credit, improving your credit score in a short time period and so on.  While there are reputable companies out there doing a good job for St Louis homebuyers looking to improve their credit no doubt, there are also some that are probably not doing much more for the consumer than they could easily do on their own or, worse yet, perhaps very little at all for the fee paid.

How do you find a good credit repair company in St Louis?

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The Importance Of Accurate Home Price Data And The Danger Of Bad Data

Ok, I’ll admit it, I know I’m sort of a big data nerd and not everyone is, so I may be in the minority when it comes to the attention I give, and time I devote, to market data, stats, trends and the like.  However, while not everyone wants to study this stuff, anyone in the market to buy or sell real estate either needs to be up to date on what is going on in the market in terms of price (and the other stuff I mentioned) or be represented by a real estate agent that is.  Otherwise, without this information or, worse yet, with bad information, home buyers and sellers can make some really bad decisions.

There is a lot of “bad” data out there and it can hurt you!

When I started in the real estate business, way back in 1979 and the age of 18, it was very hard to get much data on home prices, sales, etc, heck, it wasn’t even easy to find out what was listed for sale.  Today, largely a result of the internet, things are much different.  There is plenty of data and information available to home buyers and sellers today and it’s easy to find. The hard part today isn’t getting the data and information, it’s getting good, accurate and relevant data and information.  You don’t have to spend much time online, whether on social media sites, real estate websites or even “news” sites, to discover all sorts of inaccurate, incomplete, dated, useless and conflicting data and information.  For example, in the past week, I saw reports, even from people in the real estate profession in St Louis, indicating home prices declined last month from a year ago to the tune of about 3% or so, but I don’t believe that is the case.  Bear with me and keep reading and you will see why I say this as well as what I think is accurate with regard to St Louis home prices.

Usually the source means well and the data is believed to be accurate, but….

With regard to real estate, I think most of the data published on real estate sites, social media sites, etc by real estate agents as well as others in the industry, is believed by the person putting it out there to be accurate, the problem is it often is not. The problem is, without really digging into the source of the data, or examining what criteria was used to compile the data or report, people are often passing along information they are just assuming to be accurate but often is not.

So, where can you find good, accurate and relevant information and data on the St Louis real estate market?

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St Louis Home Sales and Home Prices Are Both Up Over 5 Percent From A Year Ago

St Louis continues to enjoy a pretty robust real estate market, albeit it a challenging one for buyers due to the low inventory of homes for sale in most areas, with St Louis home sales, during the past 12 months, up over 5 percent from the prior 12-month period and St Louis home prices up over 5 percent for the same period as well.   As the table below shows, in the 5-county core St Louis market, there were 27,437 homes sold in the 12-month period ending May 31, 2017, an increase of 5.13% from the prior 12-month period when there were 26,099 homes sold.

Year-over-year for the month of May looks good as well…

As I frequently comment, looking at home prices and sales activity for a 12-month period is the best way to get a realistic view of the market, less affected by timing of sales due to weather, day of the week the last day of the month falls on etc, it’s still worth looking at the most recent month and comparing it to the prior month, as well as prior year, to help spot trends or changes in the trend.  With this in mind, as the chart below shows, for the St Louis core market there were 3,070 homes sold in May, 2017, an increase of 21.2% from the month before when there were 2,533 homes sold, and an increase of just under 1% from May 2016 when there were 3,042 homes sold.  As the chart also reveals, homes sold in St Louis during May, 2017 were sold for a median price of $185,000, an increase of 2.8% from the month before when the median sales price was $180,000 and a slight increase of just one-half of one-percent from May 2016 when the median price St Louis homes sold for was $184,000.

Franklin County has the largest increases in home prices and sales during past 12 months…

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No Listing Shortage Of Million-Dollar Listings In St Louis

The low inventory of homes for sale in St Louis comes up today in most conversations related to the St Louis real estate market.  St Louis home buyers have struggled to get to new listings quick enough, and then make strong enough offers, to successfully beat out the competition.  Well, while that may be the story for the majority of the St Louis real estate market, that is not the story for the $1Million+ market.

As the table below shows, there are currently 287 homes listed in St Louis County and St Charles County at a price of $1 million dollars or more which, based upon current sales rates, translates into more than a years supply.

St Charles County and St Louis County $1 Million+ Homes For Sale

(click on table for up to date chart and table)

St Charles County and St Louis County $1 Million+ Homes For Sale

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Home Flipping In St Louis Hits Highest Level In 8 Years

Home flipping accounted for 8.6 percent of all the home sales in the St Louis MSA during the 1st quarter of this year according to a report released today by Attom Data Solutions.  This is an increase of  14.7% from the prior quarter when 7.5% of the homes sold were flips and is an increase of 6.2% from a year ago when 8.1% of the homes sold in St Louis were flips, according to the report.   For the purposes of this report, a “flip” was defined as a property that was sold in an arms-length sale for the second time within a 12-month period.

St Louis house flipping profit margins…

During the first quarter of 2017, the median purchase price of houses that were flipped was $75,000 and the median resale price, 158 days later on average,  was $129,400 for a gross profit margin of $54,400.  Before you get too excited though, remember this is just the gross margin between the price paid and the price resold at.  The actual net profit would be much lower as there would be costs related to the acquisition and sale of the property as well as rehab/repair costs and carrying costs, none of which is available publicly, so we can just talk about gross margins here.

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St Louis Home Prices Verses Rent Continues To Show Value In Home Prices

There are several ways to look at home prices and  home affordability as well as to argue the merits of homeownership versus renting, however, one my favorite metrics to consider along these lines is the relationship between home prices and rental rates.  Most home buyers, that are seeking a home to live in, never consider what the home they are considering purchasing would rent for, since that is not their intended use.  However, there is a relationship between home values the potential rental income in that there is a tipping point reached when the cost of owning a home exceeds the cost of renting a comparable home in the same neighborhood by too much, there becomes an incentive to rent rather than buy.  Along the same lines, if rental rates get so high that, for about the same money, or even less, one could buy the home they are renting, there exists a strong incentive to buy a home.

With this in mind, when you look at the chart below from the St Louis Federal Reserve, which shows the St Louis home price index, the blue line, and the Consumer Price Index for Rent, the red line, you can see there is a pretty significant gap between the two.  The chart goes back to 1975 and, as you can see, historically the home price index and CPI for rents have increase at relatively similar rates, with home prices lagging slightly behind from about 1980 through around 2004 but, even then, there was a pretty similar trend.  As the housing bubble in 2006 approached, you can see the home price trend shot upward and past rents only to fall sharply around 2008 after the housing bubble burst.  Since hitting bottom around late 2011, home prices have been trending upward, but, as illustrated, there is a much larger gap between home prices and rents then is the historic norm which is a good thing with regard to home prices. Based upon what I see on the chart (you can click on the chart to be taken to our live, current version which is interactive) I would expect the gap between rents and home prices to close at some point in the near future.  This can be accomplished in one of two ways:  home prices can rise at a greater rate than rents rise, or rents can fall or remain flat, or, of course, some combination of the two.  In either event I think this is good data to support sustained home prices and also shows that buying a home could well be a better investment than renting.

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St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – June 2017

What a great time to be a home seller! This month, as the video below shows, there remains a shortage of homes for sale in many areas throughout the St. Louis area making it fun for sellers and challenging for buyers  Listings that have been properly price, positioned in the market and marketed appropriately are selling in a matter of days in many areas and price ranges throughout St Louis.

Whether you are thinking of buying or selling and would like me to look at your situation and your market to determine the best strategy, just call, or text me, at 314.332.1012 and I’ll be happy to help!

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Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller’s market? Contact us and we’ll  answer that question for you.

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Mortgage Loan Delinquency Rates Hit Lowest Level Since 2000

According to a report just released by Corelogic, the 30-59 day mortgage delinquency rate in March (the most recent month reported) fell to just 1.7%, the lowest level since January 2000.  The “seriously delinquency” rate (30+ days late) fell to 4.4% in March, the lowest level sine November 2007, according to Corelogic.

In addition, the “transition rates” all improved as well from a year ago.  Transition rates show which way the borrowers are moving, from slightly delinquent to more delinquent, or from slightly delinquent to current for example.  Below are the transition rates for March 2017, according to the Corelogic report:

  • Borrowers going from current to 30 days late – 0.6% for March 2017, down from 0.7% in March 2016
  • Borrowers going from 30 days late to 60 days late – 11.6% for March 2017, down from 13.2% in March 2016
  • Borrowers going from 60 days late to 90 days late – 20.8% for March 2017, down from 23.1% in March 2016

All of this is good news for the real estate industry as the trends are positive and are is a good “leading indicator” of what is to come.  As mortgage delinquencies decrease, foreclosures, short sales and other distressed home sales decline, putting less downward pricing pressure on the housing market and providing sustainability to the improving housing market.

Speaking of mortgages, if you are considering refinancing, want to know what current rates and terms are, or would like to get pre-approved for a mortgage, I would highly recommend speaking with Ryan Derryberry, a mortgage loan professional with Movement Mortgage.  Ryan is a great guy, is honest and knows his stuff. Movement is a great company, founded and operated on great principals and offer some mortgage products you won’t find anywhere else….More information on Ryan, including his contact info, can be found here.

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Charging Pet Deposit For Service Dog Costs Landlord $20,500

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced last week that the Silver State Fair Housing Council,  and ERGS, Inc.,  the owner/manager of four apartment complexes in Reno, Nevada,  had reached an agreement to settle four Fair Housing complaints.  Silver Lake State Fair Housing Council filed the complaints on September 20, 2016 against ERGS, Inc. alleging ERGS had violated the Federal Fair Housing Act by charging a pet deposit to tenants with service animals.

Under the settlement agreement, ERGS, Inc. must pay $20,500 to the Silver State Fair Housing Council as well as  adopt written policies that are consistent with the Fair Housing Act and provide fair housing training for all employees who interact with tenants or applicants.

Under guidelines issued by HUD back in April 2013 it is very clear that, not only must a landlord provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities who required assistance animals, they must not treat the assistance animal as a pet and charge a pet deposit.

 

Disability-related claims are the most common type of Fair Housing complaint filed today, accounting for over 58 percent of the 4,9000 fair housing complaints filed last year.

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The City Of St Louis Has Youngest Population and Lowest Homeownership Rate In Area

In the real estate community there are frequent discussions about the millennial’s and their impact on the real estate market.  Since their generation makes up the largest share of the population presently,  their interest, or lack thereof, in homeownership definitely has the attention of us in the real estate industry.   The consensus among many in the real estate industry is that  millennials don’t value homeownership as much as their baby boomer parents did, and do, however, they don’t necessarily have anything against the idea.  The millennial generation seems to be more driven by lifestyle and flexibility than whether or not they own where they live.

With this in mind, today I wanted to look at the median age of the city of St Louis as well as the surrounding counties to see where the younger people are migrating as well as look at the homeownership rates for those areas.  While I don’t know that there is a relationship between the median age of an area and the homeownership rate necessarily, there well could be.

The City of St Louis is where the young people are…

As the map below shows, the city of St Louis, with a median age of it’s population of 34.6 years, has the youngest population followed by St Charles county with a median age of 37.4 years.

The City of St Louis has the lowest homeownership rate by far…

As the second map below shows, the city of St Louis also has the lowest homeownership rate at 47.8%, however, St Charles County, the county with the second youngest median age has one of the highest homeownership rates in the area at 81.34%.

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St Louis County Circuit Court Judge Strikes Down St Louis County Landlord License Ordinance

On June 2, 2017, in a victory for landlords, St Louis County Circuit Court Judge Gloria Clark Reno declared St Louis County’s landlord license ordinance unconstitutional. The landlord license ordinance was passed by the St Louis County Council, with a surprise vote at the Council meeting on October 18, 2015 while the council members ignored the outcries from many private property rights advocates, including the St Louis Association of REALTORS, who questioned, among other things, the constitutionality of the ordinance.   The ordinance went into effect on December 31, 2015 however, as a result of a lawsuit filed by the St Louis Association of REALTORS on December 29, 2015, Judge Reno issued a temporary restraining order on January 7, 2016 prohibiting St Louis County from enforcing the ordinance.

The St Louis County landlord license ordinance, landlords were required to obtain a license annually before renting out property in St Louis County.  Many aspects of the ordinance appeared to be unconstitutional and to infringe upon the private property rights of landlords causing many groups to speak out against the ordinance.

The complete order by Judge Reno is below.

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St Louis Home Sales Fall Slightly in May From Year Ago – Prices Up

There were 2,707 homes sold during May within the St Louis 5-county core market down slightly from May 2016 when there were 2,736 homes sold according to the latest data from MORE, REALTORS (see chart below).  The median price of homes sold in the St Louis core market during May 2017 was $125 per square foot, an increase of 2.5% from May 2016 when the median price of homes sold in the St Louis core market was $122 per square foot.

As I often mention, doing a year-over-year comparison of home sales and prices for one month is not the most accurate way to really get a look at the real estate market, however, it can be indicative of a changing trend though.  To get a better look at the market, I suggest comparing the most recent 12-month period with the prior 12-month period, which is exactly what we do in our STL Market Report, shown below.  As the table reveals, there were 27,437 homes sold in the 5-county core St Louis market during the 12-month period ending May 31, 2017, an increase of 5.13% from the prior 12-month period when there were 26,099 homes sold.  As the table also shows, the median home price increased 5.22% during this period, although the current pricing trend for active listings shows a decline.

 

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Characteristics of New Homes Sold In 2016

The U.S. Department of Commerce just released it’s 2016 CHARACTERISTICS OF NEW HOUSING in which it revealed features, amenities, prices, sizes, etc of new homes built and sold during 2016 in the United States.  You can see all the data in the complete report for the U.S. by clicking on the link however I’m going to just focus on the homes built here in the midwest region.

There were 69,000 new homes sold (single-family) here in the Midwest Region of the United States, down from a peak of 205,000 in 2005.  Eleven percent of the single-family homes sold were attached homes (8,000) and the remaining eighty-nine-percent (62,000) were detached homes, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Facts and Figures For New Homes Sold In The Midwest during 2016:

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Is It Better To Invest In a Luxury Home In St Louis County or City?

From the outset I need to admit that this is probably a pointless article as the mindset of someone that would want to buy a luxury home ($750,000+) in St Louis County is quite different than someone that would want to buy one in the city of St Louis, and vice versa, so neither will probably be swayed in their preference by which location offers a better return on their investment.  Having said that, I still thought it would be interesting to examine the market and see how luxury home buyers have fared over the years in both locations.

St Louis County Luxury Home Buyers Fared Much Better Over Past 10 Years Than St Louis City Buyers

As our 10-year chart below shows, luxury home prices (homes that sold for $750,000 or above) have done much better in St Louis County, with the median price per foot represented on the chart below by the yellow line, than they have done in the City of St Louis (brown line).  The median price per square foot (the most accurate way to compare home prices) for luxury homes sold in St Louis County during 2007 was $230 and in 2017 luxury homes have sold in St Louis County thus far at $244 per square foot, an increase of 6.1% from 10 years ago.   For the city of St Louis, luxury homes sold for a median price of $185 per square foot in 2007 and for 2017 have sold for a median price of $152 per square foot, a decline of 21.7% from 10 years ago.   As the chart illustrates so dramatically, St Louis county luxury home prices were not impacted by the market crash of 2008 nearly as much as in the city of St Louis.

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What Is The Value of a Garage?

Of the 6,137 homes that were sold in St Charles county during the past 12 months, 5,839 (95%) of them had a garage.  Nearly 68 percent of the homes sold with a garage in St Charles county had a 2-car garage, nearly 24 percent a 3 car garage or larger and just 8.5 percent had a one-car garage.  So, if you are a St Charles county homeowner with a one-car garage, how much can you expect to be impacted price-wise when you sell? Of, if you are a buyer, looking at a home in St Charles county with a one-car garage, how much should you discount what you pay for it versus a similar home with a 2-car garage?

To address these questions, I went to our STL Market Charts  to pull data from our MLS database for home sold in St Charles county in the past 12 months to see how, on a price per foot basis, the price varies based upon garage size.  For the sake of this discussion, and to keep it to an “apples to apples” comparison the best I could, I pulled data for 3 bedroom homes in St Charles county, listed at $150,000 – $250,000 and sold within the past 12 months.

As the tables below illustrate, the 1,506 homes sold with 2-car garages sold for a median price of $122 per square foot and the 48 homes that sold with 1-car garages sold for a median price of $120.41 per square foot or about 1.3% less than it’s 2-car counterpart.   Naturally, this will vary by price range and area, but for the typical 3 bedroom St Charles county home, it appears a 2-car garage is worth about $1.60 per square foot, or about 1.3%, more than a similar home with a one-car garage.

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