Radarlogic Housing Market Report Shows First November-December Increase in Home Prices Since 2004 For the US – However It shows a Decrease For December for St. Louis -
When I received the Housing Market Report from Radarlogic, I was happy to see some good news; home prices increased in December from November and a 44 percent increase in the number of homes sold in December versus a year before. Unfortunately those numbers were based upon Radarlogic‘s RPX Composite Price, which tracks home prices in 25 major metropolitan areas (including St. Louis) and when I drilled down to the St. Louis Housing Numbers they were not as encouraging.
The report shows St. Louis home prices decreased from November to December by 6.9 percent, as opposed to the increase of 0.2 percent for the 25 metro areas combined. Housing transactions in December 2009 in St Louis increased 5.5 percent from a year ago, however this is far less than the 44 percent increase in transactions for the 25 city composite. From November to December St Louis saw a decrease of 54.9 percent in the number of housing transactions, a much larger decline than the 11.0 percent decline for the 25 city composite.
Radarlogic’s report bases it’s home price data on the price per foot homes sell for versus the sales price of the home. I think this is a more “apples to apples” approach and results in more accurate data than looking at median home prices which could be affected by an increase in activity in a particular price range of home. Having said that I still wanted to check their data against data I compiled from the MLS. Here are my findings from MLS data:
- The median price of homes and condos sold in St. Louis in November 2009 was $131,500. For December the median price was $125,000 for a decline of 4.9 percent. Not far off from the 6.9 percent decrease in the Radarlogic report.
- There were 1,011 homes and condos sold in St. Louis in December 2009, a decrease of 2.97 percent from a year ago. The Radarlogic report showed an increase of 5.5 percent so there is some disparity here.
- December 2009′s home and condo sales of 1,011 was a decrease of 33.8 percent from November 2009 sales of 1,527 units. This is a smaller decrease than the 54.9 percent decrease shown in the Radarlogic report.
Overall I think the research I did supports the trend shown in the Radarlogic report for the St. Louis housing market; some softness in prices and a surge of home sales in November from the tax credits.