New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Continue Downward Trend

There were 4,699 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended March 31, 2022, a decrease of 6.86% from the same period a year ago when there were 5,045 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Four of the seven counties covered in the report saw a double-digit decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -March  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -March  2022

 

St Louis Home Sales Doing Well In Spite of Rising Interest Rates & Inflation

There have been a lot of reports over the past month about rising interest rates (mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5.27% last week) as well as rising inflation rates (8.5% in March) and the effect these things will have on the housing market.  It’s no doubt they will have some affect on home prices and sales and I have been watching the data on St Louis home prices and sales closely and so far there does not appear to be much impact.

St Louis home sales increase in April from March…

There are two ways we analyze home sales at MORE, REALTORS®;  the traditional manner, which is what almost all public reports are based upon, closed sales (which are really indicative of what the market was like 1-2 months previously since that is when the contracts were typically written) and then by use of our STL Real Estate Trends Report, which gives us a better idea of the current activity.  Our trends report shows the number of new contracts written on listings, so current sales activity as well as the number of new listings entering the market.  The good news is, when looking at St Louis home sales activity for April, both closed sales and newly written contracts increased from the month before.

As our chart below shows, there were 2,134 homes sold in St Louis (5-county core market) during April, a 6.4% increase from March when there were 2,005 homes sold.  As the STL Real Estate Trends Report shows, there were 3,279 new contracts written on homes during April in the St Louis 5-county core market, an increase of 5% from the prior month when there were 3,124 contracts written.

New Sales Last Week Declined Over Thirty Percent From The Week Before

Last week there were 551 new contracts written for the sale of listings in the St Louis 5-county core market down over thirty-six percent (31.3%) from the week before when there were 802 new contracts written, according to the STL Real Estate Trends Report, exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®.  The new sales activity last week was down even more (nearly 36%) from the same week a year ago when there were 851 new contracts written on listings.   There is no doubt this is the result of mortgage interest rates which have nearly doubled in the last 15 months.

New listings on the other hand increased last week to 851 from 618 the week before.  The new listing activity is pretty much in line with the same week a year ago when there were 858 new listings.  If this trend continues the listing supply will likely increase significantly.  Given that the for the 5-county core market its been under 1 month for a long time, it can afford to increase some.

The current week will be very telling.  When we see data next week from this week, if the numbers are similar to what we saw last week, it’s a likely indicator of a market shift to some extent.  Time will tell..

Sitzer vs NAR (National Association of REALTORS) – Good or bad for consumers?

In an article published yesterday, I referenced the Sitzer vs National Association of REALTORS law suit and said I would have a more in-depth discussion about that suit and here it is.  The lawsuit was filed by Joshua Sitzer, Amy Winger, Scott and Rhonda Burnett and Ryan Hendrickson on June 21, 2019 against the National Association of Realtors and the parent companies of major real estate companies and franchises including Coldwell Banker, ReMax, Keller Williams and Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices.

The Sitzer lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri sought to be certified as a class action lawsuit on behalf of “all persons and entities who listed properties on one of four Multiple Listing Services…and paid a broker commission from at least April 29, 2015 until the Present…“.   The four MLS’s listed in the suit that this applies to are:

  • Heartland MLS (Kansas City, MO)
  • MARIS MLS (St Louis, MO)
  • Southern Missouri Regional MLS (Springfield, MO)
  • CBOR MLS (Columbia, MO)

Last Friday, April 22, 2022, Stephen R. Bough, a Federal Judge for in the Western District of Missouri, issued an order granting the class action status for the lawsuit the Plaintiffs sought.

What does the class action ruling change?

Appellant Court Overturns Lower Court Dismissal of Anti-Trust Lawsuit Against the National Association of REALTORS®

The past several days have not been good for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) from a legal perspective at least.

First, last Friday, April 22, 2022, Stephen R. Bough, a Federal Judge for in the Western District of Missouri, certified a lawsuit against NAR as a class action suit.The suit, known as the “Sitzer” suit as the original plaintiffs were Joshua Sitzer and Amy Winger, alleges that the defendant, the National Association of REALTORS®created and implemented anticompetitive rules which require home sellers to pay commission to the broker representing the home buyer“.  The plaintiffs in the suit also allege that the other defendants, which include Realogy Holdings Corp, Homeservices of America, Inc.,  Re/MAX LLC and Keller Williams Realty, Inc., “enforce those rules through anticompetitive practices.”  I believe this action by the court was expected and likely did not come as a surprise to anyone but it was not good news for NAR or the other defendants.  In the coming days I’ll be doing an in-depth article on this one.

Then, yesterday, the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit delivered another and this time, a likely unexpected, blow to the National Association of REALTORS® in the form of a reversal of a suit against NAR that had been dismissed previously by a lower court.  The suit, PLS.com v. the National Association of REALTORS®, is another suit alleging anti-trust violations by NAR and the other defendants which are all MLS’s.  The suit was brought originally by PLS.com as a result of NAR enacting its “Clear Cooperation Policy” which for all intents and purposes, dictates to agents and brokers how and when they can market their listings.  I’ve written several articles specifically on this policy in the past which can be found using the following links:

Missouri Releases Complaint Report For Missouri Insurance Companies

The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) is the state agency that investigates complaints against insurance companies made by consumers in Missouri.  Annually, the DCI releases its complaint report reporting on the complaints made in the preceding year by company, type of insurance, etc.  In compiling the report the DCI assigns a “complaint index” to each company, based upon the number of complaints the department received for a consecutive three-year period relative to the amount of product-specific premium a Missouri licensed company experienced that same period.  An index number of 100 means that the department received the normally expected number of complaints about that company, an index number less than 100 indicates the company was the subject of less than the normally expected number of complaints and an index that is greater than 100 shows the department received more than the normally expected number of complaints about that company.

Below, I have compiled a list of the top 20 providers of homeowners insurance in Missouri (based upon market share) ranked by their complaint index with the companies with the worst complaint index first.  The companies list with a red background have a complaint index above 100 and the ones in green have a complaint index below 100.  As the table shows, Auto Club Family Insurance Company as the worst complaint index on the list at 166, followed by Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Company (145), Auto Owners (131), Travelers (121) and State Farm (117) rounds out the top 5 with the worst complaint indexes.

To obtain the complete report showing all companies as well as complaint indexes for all lines of business click here or on the table below.

New Sales Of Listings Continue To Outpace New Listings

Even with the high rate of inflation, rising interest rates and general unrest in the economy, during the past two weeks there were more new contracts written on listings than there were new listings.  According to the STL Real Estate Trends Report, exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®,  during the last two weeks there were 1,496 new contracts accepted on listings in the St Louis 5-County core market while there were 1,432 new listings during the same period.   While there were only 4.5% more sales than listings, given the fact we are already in a low-inventory market, this is fairly significant.

STL Real Estate Trends Report

(click on report for current report)

STL Real Estate Trends Report STL Real Estate Trends Report

 

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For March 2022

St Louis Real Estate Report for March 2022

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)
St Louis Real Estate Report for March 2022

How Much Will St Louis Home Prices Be Impacted By Inflation?

Yesterday, I wrote an article addressing the high rate of inflation just reported and its impact on the St Louis housing market. In it, I promised to take a deeper look into the effect of the current events related to the economy on St Louis home prices which I will do in this article.

Before I go further, I should mention I’m not an economist nor a fortune teller.  I am, however, a real estate broker and data nerd that has spent over 40 years in the St Louis real estate industry.  I try my best to use my knowledge and experience to anticipate changes in the market and use this to help our agents and clients use this information to their advantage.

History always repeats itself..

I find the above old adage to be pretty accurate when it comes to the real estate market.  Therefore, in trying to get my head around what impact a high inflation rate may have on home prices, I started by going back to prior periods of high inflation rates.

The first chart below shows the rate of inflation, interest rates, and the St Louis home price index.  I’ve made some notes on it to show prior inflationary periods and the effect on home prices. The first period, the early 80s was much worse than today as inflation was higher and interest rates were in the stratosphere hitting 18%.  The more recent period around 2007-2009 was not as severe and therefore the impact on home prices was not as dramatic as the former either.  As you can see on the far right side of the chart, home prices have increased in the past several months at a sharp rate with the change from a year ago being greater than the last inflationary period but not as great as the one from the early ’80s.

The next chart shows the relationship between home prices and rent.  When home prices outpace rent, home prices decline, when rent outpaces home prices, prices rise.  As the chart shows, these two lines have converged indicating a reasonable balance between home prices and rent.

During the period of 2007 – 2011 home prices fell over 17% during a four year period before finally bottoming out.

Today is different though…

Inflation Rate Increases to 8.5 Percent in March…What will the effect be on home prices?

This week it was announced that the U.S. inflation rate in March had increased to a staggering 8.5% the highest rate in over 40 years as illustrated by the chart below.  The last time the inflation rate was higher than this was in December 1981 when it hit 8.9%.   The “inflation rate” that I’m referring to, and is the most commonly reported, is based upon the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. city average.  One of the categories included in the CPI-U is “shelter”.  The report shows the shelter inflation rate at 5% which, on the surface sounds low however, the median price of homes sold in St Louis in March was $250,000 an increase of just over 4% from March 2021 when the median sold price was $240,000.

What does an inflation rate of 8.5% mean for the real estate market?

With everything going on in our economy, country and world now I think it’s literally impossible to predict what is going to happen on any front with any level of accuracy however, a good guide would be what has happened in the past during similar times.   With this in mind, lets look at what the market looked like the last time inflation was at this level, December 1981:

  • Mortgage interest-rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage were an average of 17%-18% (see chart below)
  • The inflation rate actually reached a peak of 14.4% in March of 1980
  • St Louis home prices peaked during the 1st quarter of 1979 then declined until bottoming-out during the 2nd quarter of 1981 (see chart at bottom)

Two-Thirds Of Consumers Say They Would Buy A Home vs Rent If There Were To Move

Yesterday, I shared that, according to the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI), nearly three-fourths of consumers think now is not a good time to buy a home.  However, the same survey that produced that data also showed that tw0-thirds of the consumers that responded said if they would buy a home vs rent if they were in fact going to move.  As our chart below illustrates, for 3 of the last four months, 66% indicated they would buy.  While the percentage that indicated they would buy was as high as 72% last May, it was in fact the same, at 66% a year ago in March as well as the year before that in March.  So, while consumers don’t think now is a good time to buy, it appears many are doing it or would do it, anyway.

Nearly 75 Percent Of Consumers Think Now Is A Bad Time To Buy a Home

Every month Fannie Mae surveys consumers about owning and renting a home as well as about other issues related to the housing market and economy and from the results publishes its Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI).  One of the components of the index is what the sentiment is on whether now is a good time to buy a home or sell a home.  In April 2022, HPSI consumers’ sentiment on whether now is a good time to buy a home hit an all-time low with just 24% of respondents saying now is a good time to buy a home.  As the charts below illustrate, 73% of respondents said now was a bad time to buy a home.

Home Remodeling Projects That Bring You The Best Return On The Cost

Some remodeling projects are done by homeowners that plan to stay in their homes for the foreseeable future and want to get the most enjoyment and functionality out of living there.  These homeowners typically aren’t as concerned, if at all, with getting a monetary return on their investment as their return is the enjoyment of the improvements.  However, other homeowners, particularly those that may only be in their homes a couple of years or so before their next move, tend to focus more on making sure the remodeling they do will bring them a return on their investment to make it worthwhile.  Granted, the return may be less than the cost but, after factoring in the enjoyment from the improvement the improvement may be worth it.

What are the remodeling projects that bring the best returns?  

National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Remodeling Impact ReportAccording to the National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, below is the cost recovery of the top interior and exterior remodeling projects:

  • Interior
    • Hardwood flooring refinish- Return on cost – 147%
    • New wood flooring – Return on cost – 118%
    • Insulation upgrade – Return on cost – 100%
  • Exterior
    • Roofing – Return on cost – 100%
    • Garage door- Return on cost – 100%

See the complete report (you can download a copy as well) by clicking the photo or HERE.

 

New Home Building Permits Decline Nearly 6 Percent In St Louis In Past 12-Months

There were 4,669 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended February 28, 2022, a decrease of 5.8% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,956 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Four of the seven counties covered in the report saw a double-digit decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -February  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -February  2022

 

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For February 2022

St Louis Real Estate Report for February 2022

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)
St Louis Real Estate Report for February 2022

New Home Building Permits Decline In St Louis In Past 12-Months

There were 4,743 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of 2.5% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,864 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Four of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago.  Warren, Lincoln, and St Charles County had a double-digit decrease.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -January  2022

 

States sending the most people to Missouri

The U.S. population between 2019 and 2020 grew at the lowest rate in 120 years—just .35%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But low population growth didn’t stop many people from moving, as western and southern states saw influxes in population while California and New York saw the biggest drops.Stacker compiled a list of states that are sending the most people to Missouri using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. States are ranked by the number of people that moved to Missouri from the state in 2019.

The 2019 National Movers Study found that the states with the most inbound moves were Vermont, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, and South Carolina. Keep reading to find out which states are sending the most people to Missouri.

Stop! Who Goes There? A Smart Lock Knows…

How ‘smart’ can a smart home be if its locks can’t tell you who is coming and going and when they came and went? In my opinion, that’s not a very ‘smart’ house. Nowadays, we use our phones for much more than talking to other people. To name a few, we use them for directions, email, and paying for groceries. So why wouldn’t we use them to remotely lock and unlock our doors too?

From my previous articles you might remember that one of the primary requirements in a smart home is either smart temperature control or a smart security feature. A smart lock meets the security feature requirement and it’s one of the simplest additions to your house. Many of these can be installed using the standard pre-drilled holes that likely already exist in your doors. Usually, in under 25 minutes, you can go from fumbling around for the keys to your door automatically unlocking as you approach.  

Have you ever been running a little late to an appointment and get 10 minutes down the road only to wonder if you locked your door? Yeah, me too, but with a smart lock, you could just get to the next stoplight and check your phone to verify the lock status. If you did forget, no worries—just tap the lock icon on the phone app and problem solved. 

Another great feature of most smart locks is knowing who accesses the house and when. This can be done either through the assigned app or individual user codes. For peace of mind, you can track who comes and goes. 

One of my favorite features is the autolocking function that can be tied to arming your security system. You no longer need to walk around and check all your doors because the system will just lock all the doors when you arm your alarm. Of course, you’ll need a security system for this feature, but some smart locks can be programmed to lock automatically at preset times throughout the day. If you have toddlers, this is a great feature. Mine love randomly unlocking doors and not telling me, so without that feature, the door would remain unlocked until I notice it.

Do you own an Airbnb? These locks are great for creating temporary access codes for each paying guest. Just like magic, once their reservation is up the code no longer works. Overall, smart locks are a great addition to modern lifestyles and they’re an affordable addition to virtually anyone’s home security. Plus, you don’t need an engineering degree to install one.

Interested in knowing MORE about Smart Home tech? Contact the only Smart Home Certified CRS agent in the Greater St. Louis area. *

*Based upon actual knowledge the author has at the time of publication”;

Interested in knowing MORE about Smart Home tech? Contact the only Smart Home Certified CRS agent in the Greater St. Louis area*.

*Based upon actual knowledge the author has at the time of publication


Interest Rates Hit Highest Level in Over 2-Years

Mortgage interest rates were at 3.69% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan as of this past Thursday, February 10, 2022., according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey®.  As the chart below illustrates, mortgage interest rates hit a low of 2.77% in August of 2021 and have pretty much been trending upward since.

Within the last few days, there have been a lot of reports in the media projecting mortgage interest rates to go higher this year.  A lot of it is based on the current inflation rates which are not good so if the economy and rate of inflation improve, so would mortgage rates but time will tell.  Personally, as of today and subject to any new major disruptions, I think rates in 2022 will stay in the mid 3% range and climb to the upper 3’s, perhaps 3.9% but could very well go over 4% if the Federal Reserve raises rates as much as is currently rumored now.

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Year  Conventional Loan

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Year  Conventional Loan 

 

Seventy-Percent of Consumers Think Now is a Bad Time To Buy a Home-83% Of Millennial’s Feel That Way

According to Fannie Mae’s® Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), 70% of consumers say it’s a bad time to buy a home while 25% feel it’s a good time to buy.  As the chart below illustrates, this is the highest level reached for it not being a good time to buy in the 3-year period the chart covers.  Actually, this is the highest level it’s reached since Fannie Mae began tracking the data in 2010.

Millennials are pessimistic about home buying…

The bottom chart also reflects the sentiment of consumers in the survey about buying a home now but is broken down by age group.  This chart shows the net percentage of those saying it’s a “good time to buy” less those saying “it’s a bad time to buy”.  The higher the line goes on the chart the more the good time to buy folks outweigh the bad time to buy.  As you can see, the black line, which depicts consumers in the 35-44 age group is the lowest on the chart with a net of -68.  This is the result of 83% of the consumers in this age group saying it is a bad time to buy and just 15% saying it’s a good time, resulting in a net of -68%.

Seniors have a better feeling about the market…

The red line depicts the sentiment of those 65 years and older and the net percentage there is -26%, so, while the percentage of people that feel now is not a good time to buy still outweighs the ones in this age group that think it is a good time, the resulting difference is about 40 points better than the millennial group.

Total New Homes Built In St Louis During 2021 About The Same As Prior Year

There were 4,825 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during 2021 which is 9 more permits than were issued in 2020, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).  For the past few years, St Louis has experienced a strong seller’s market due to the low supply of homes for sale.

This demand certainly seems to be something that would encourage builders to increase the number of homes being built significantly.  However, there are many challenges facing St Louis builders today that prevents this.  The challenges include a shortage of developed lots, or even ground in areas of demand, as well as increased construction costs, a result of regulatory issues, material prices and construction worker’s wages.  If the builder can deal with the increased prices, then there are supply chain issues and labor shortages to deal with as well.  Selling new homes is pretty easy today, the challenge is developing them.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -December 2021

St Louis New Home Building Permits -December 2021

 

Typical St Louis Home Price Increased Nearly 11 Percent In Past Year – Payment On The Home Increased 25%

Most anyone that is interested in buying or selling a home is pretty much aware of two things: there is a low inventory of homes for sale and prices have increased a fair amount as a result.  That part is likely largely a result of basic economics related to supply and demand.  When the demand is greater than the supply, prices will increase.  In St Louis, home prices have done just that.  As the chart below (exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®) illustrates, the median price of homes sold in January 2020 was $221, 200 and in January 2021 was $245,000,  an increase of 10.8%.

Interest rates are the other part of the equation with regard to the “cost” of a home…

Since the overwhelming majority of home buyers that purchase a typical home in St Louis do so utilizing a mortgage or home loan, the interest rate on that home loan has a direct impact on what that home “costs” the homeowner in terms of the monthly payment.  When buyers get pre-approved for a home loan, as well as consider how much they can afford to or want to, spend on a home, it all pretty much usually starts with the house payment.  Therefore, we can’t underestimate the impact interest rates can have on home prices.

As the mortgage interest rate chart below shows, the average interest rate on a 30-year conforming conventional home loan in January 2021 was 2.811% and today has increased to 3.744%.

The change in the “cost” of a typical St Louis home in the past year…

So, if we look at the increase in the price of a typical St Louis home and then factor in the increase in the interest rates we find that the actual “cost” of a typical St Louis home (in terms of house payment) increased 25% n the past year.  To keep things simple, I based this on a loan amount of 90% of the purchase price so the cost will vary depending upon downpayment of course and I’m only computing principal and interest so I’m not including escrows for property taxes or homeowners insurance.

  • Typical payment on a typical St Louis home January 2021 – $ 805.00 
  • Typical payment on a typical St Louis home January 2022 – $ 1,009.00

Is it too late to buy since the cost has increased so much?

How Much Of An Impact Does Your FICO Score Have On The Cost Of A Home?

Today, thanks to many apps and access to information, all consumers have ready and easy access to their FICO (credit) score.  Anyone thinking of buying a home no doubt knows their credit score will come into play in terms of qualifying for a mortgage but just how significant is your credit score?  Is there really that much difference between a 670 and 700 credit score, or between a 700 and 741 score?  Well, when it comes to mortgage rates, it does make a difference!

A 670 FICO vs a 741 FICO will run up the typical cost of St Louis home over $17,000 over the life of your loan!

For example, as the table below illustrates, the median interest rate for a mortgage for a person in St Louis (borrowing over 80% of purchase price) with a FICO score of less than 680 is 3.962% versus an interest rate of 3.611% for someone with a FICO score above 740.  The median price of homes sold in St Louis during the past 30 days was $245,055.  So, to make it simple, if we assume that for the loan amount a person with a 679 score would be looking at a house payment of $1,153 per month (principal and interest) while someone with a 741 credit score would be looking at a payment of $1,104 or $49 per month less.  That may not sound like much, but over the 30-year life of the mortgage that means the person with the lower credit score will pay $17,640 more in interest than the borrower with the higher score.  Or, to look at it a different way, for the same payment of $1,153 that the lower score borrower will pay for a $245,055 home, the borrower with the higher score can buy a home that costs $255,823.

Mortgage-Interest Rates Hit Highest Level In Over a Year

Mortgage interest rates were at 3.667% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan as of this past Thursday, January 13, 2022.  As the chart below illustrates, after dipping slightly the week prior, the rates this most recent week hit the highest level in over a year.

Mortgage rates for an FHA mortgage also hit the highest level in over a year too with rates hitting 3.743%.

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 12 Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart and other loan types)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 12 Months

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Year FHA

(click on chart for live, interactive chart and other loan types)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Year FHA

 

New Home Building Permits Increase By Double Digits in Franklin County and St Louis City In Past 12-Months

There were 4,851 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended November 30, 2021, an increase of 3.17% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,702 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Three of the seven counties covered in the report saw an increase in building permits from the same period a year ago, two of those, Franklin County and the City of St Louis,  a double-digit increase.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -November 2021

St Louis New Home Building Permits -November 2021

 

St Louis Home Sales Trend Declining

The home sales trend in St Louis is easing with 29,778 homes being sold in the St Louis 5-county core market during the 12-month period ended December 31, 2021, according to the chart below provided by MORE, REALTORS®.  This 12-month rate of St Louis home sales has declined for the 3rd month in a row after peaking at 30,225 homes sold in the 12-month period ended September 30, 2021.

Leading indicator Reports Show a Downturn in Home Sales as well…

The STL Real Estate Trends Report, below the chart, shows new contracts written on listings for the most recent week reported, compared with the same week last year.  As the report shows, contracts written during the most recent week were down 23% from the same week a year ago, with all 5 counties reported showing a double digit decline.  Franklin County saw the biggest drop at 34% followed by St Louis City witha. 31% decline.

December 2021 St Louis Real Estate Report

St Louis Real Estate Report - December 2021 - St Louis Housing Report - St Louis Realtors

St Louis Home Sales in 2021 Tops Year Before By Nearly 4 Percent – Prices Up Over 9 Percent

As the STL Market Report (available exclusively from MORE, REATLORS®) below illustrates, there were 30,197 homes sold in the St Louis 5-county core market during 2021, an increase of 3.86% from 2020 when there were 29,075 homes sold.  The median sales price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-county core market was $250,000 during 2021, an increase of 9.17% from 2020 when the median price of homes sold in St Louis was $229,000.  The 5-county core St Louis market is comprised of the city and county of St Louis, along with the counties of Jefferson, Franklin, and St Charles. The St Louis core market is responsible for over 7y0% of all homes sold in the 17-county St Louis MSA market.

Housing inventory remains low…

As the last row of the report shows, there is still just a 0.6 month supply of homes for sale in the St Louis 5-county core market and the median time on the market is 64 days.

Flipped Home Percentage of Home Sales Increases – Profit Margins Decline

There were 94,766 homes and condominiums “flipped” during the third quarter in the U.S., according to data just released by ATTOM Data Solutions.  These flips represent 5.7% of all homes sales during the 3rd quarter of 2021, an increase of nearly 12% from the prior quarter when 5.1% of all homes sold were flips.

Gross profit margins dip to the lowest point since early 2011…

According to the report, the gross profit margin (the difference between the price paid for the flipped house when purchased versus the price paid by the new buyer when flipped) was $68,847.  This represents a 32.3% gross margin, the lowest gross margin percentage since the first quarter of 2011.

  

U.S. Home Flipping Trends – Chart

U.S. Home Flipping Trends - Chart 

Foreclosure Filings In November Up 94% From Year Ago But Down 94% From 2010

Last month, there were foreclosure filings on 19,479 properties in the U.S., according to ATTOM Data’s U.S. Foreclosure Market Report.  This represents a decline of 5% from the month before but a 94% increase from a year ago, according to the report.

Let’s put it in perspective…

Data and statistics are funny things.  Even when accurately presented they can paint a picture that may sound worse, or better than the real situation behind the data.  This is why I consistently suggest that people don’t base opinions of the market, or make decisions, on one piece of data.  It takes many pieces of data to really paint the whole picture, just like in this case.  The headline that was reported by ATTOM Data (and repeatedly in many publications) is accurate, foreclosures are up 94% from a year ago.  But if there are currently 19,479 properties with a foreclosure filing, that means there were just 10,040 filings a year ago.  Granted, its bad to have anyone lose their home, but, historically speaking, these foreclosure numbers are low..very low.  For example, in April 2010, a couple of years after the housing bubble burst, there were 367,056 foreclosure filings that month.  So, last months number of 19,479 is 94% lower than April 2010.

Again, I’m not minimizing the significance of a foreclosure or the effect it has on those affected by it, I’m just trying to paint a more clear picture to show at this time, even though we’ve seen an increase, the numbers are still pretty low.