Home affordability throughout the St Louis area declined in the fourth quarter of this year from the same time last year according to a report released this morning by Attom Data Solutions. As the table below shows, the affordability of homes in the St Louis area, as well as every major county in Missouri (with the lone exception being Platte County), declined during the current quarter meaning that it now takes a larger percentage of a persons income (based upon average wages for the county) to buy the “typical” home in that county (based upon a median-priced home).
The table shows St Louis County with a 24% decline in home affordability from a year ago, however, I should point out that Attom Data Solutions actually chose to leave this information off their report released to the public due to concern about the underlying data. For example, their data showed a 33% increase in the median home price in St Louis County during the current quarter from the 4th quarter in 2015 however, as the two tables shows for St Louis County home prices below, there has really only been an increase of 5.7% in the price from last year. The median price of homes sold in St Louis County during 4th quarter of 2015 was $175,000, for the current quarter it is $185,000. I’m not sure how much the correct home pricing would change Attom’s affordability index for St Louis County but, given the fact their data for the current median home price is pretty close, that makes the current data fairly accurate in that regard. With that said, the current affordability index for St Louis County is an 89, the lowest of any of the counties in Missouri, which is not good. An index of 100 means that home affordability is at the historic “norm”, above 100 means it’s more affordable than the historic norm, below 100 means less affordable than the historic norm. Locally, Jefferson County has the best affordability index, with a 112, followed by St Charles County with a 109.
With affordability on the decline, and interest rates projected to increase to as high as 5% by the end of next year, if you are thinking about buying a home and, in a position to do so now, I would suggest consider buying sooner than later.
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St Louis County Home Prices – 4th Quarter 2016
St Louis County Home Prices – 4th Quarter 2015