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St Louis Real Estate Search

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – December 2018 – Months Supply On the Rise

The St Louis real estate market is lagging a little behind last year in terms of home sales and the inventory of homes for sale is on the rise.  While some of this is, of course, seasonal, perhaps some of it could be related to home prices increasing over the past year or so at a higher rate than the historical “norm” as well as may be reflective of the higher interest rates we are experiencing now versus last year.

While it’s still a seller’s market in some areas of St Louis and in some price ranges, our market indicators have more markets shifting to a buyers market or, at a minimum, a changing market.  Seller’s won’t like to see this but it could be some welcome relief for home buyers that may be growing weary from bidding wars, getting beat out on the home they want and the like.

Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers 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!  


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.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

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 how- FairCommissionRates.com

Nearly 1 In 5 St Louis Home Sales In Past 12-Months Were Cash Deals

There were 37,721 homes sold in the St Louis metropolitan area during the past 12 months as reported by MORE, REALTORS.  Of those, as the chart below illustrates, conventional financing made up the lion’s share of the sales.  Conventional mortgages accounted for 18,967 home sales (50.3%), followed by cash transactions with no financing that accounted for 7,109 sales (18.9%), then 6,353 (16.8%) sales with FHA loans, 2,333 (6.2%) with VA loans, and 770 (2.0%) sales financed with USDA financing. The remaining 5.8% of the home sales were financed with one of roughly 30 other lessor popular financing methods.

St Louis MSA Home Sales By Financing Type – Past 12 Months

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis MSA Home Sales By Financing Type - Past 12 Months.
By St Louis REALTORS, MORE, REALTORS

Date source: MARIS

The Number of Flipped Houses In St Louis Drops, As Do Profits On Them

There were 752 home “flips” in the St Louis metro area during the third quarter of this year, representing 6.5% of the homes sold during the period, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  This is a decline of 7.4% from the prior quarter and a decline of 2.0% from the same quarter last year.

What is meant by “flipped” home?

ATTOM Data considers any home or condo that was sold during the third quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months as well as a “flip”.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

  

Fastest Selling Cities in St Louis

It’s no secret that home sales slow down this time of year in St Louis however, there are still plenty of cities in St Louis where homes are selling quickly!  As the table below shows, Rock Hill is at the top of our Fastest Selling Cities list with the current supply of homes for sale being on the market for an average of just 29 days.  Of the 10 cities on our list, all but one are in St Louis County and, of the 9 in St Louis County, 5 are in North County.

St Louis’ Fastest Selling Cities

(click on the table to see the complete table with current data)St Louis' Fastest Selling Cities

What is the housing market like in St Louis’ Fastest Selling City – Rock Hill?

Continue reading Fastest Selling Cities in St Louis

Strong Economy’s Impact On Housing Market Shows In REALTOR Survey

The impact of the strong economy the U.S. is currently experiencing can be seen in the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) 2018 Member Profile.  In the NAR report when agents were asked about the most important factor limiting potential home-buyer clients from completing a transaction, the answers given in the most recent survey show a strong improvement in economy-related issues from the 2015 survey. For example, below are some highlights from the survey for the most important factor limiting potential buyers in completing a transaction:

  • Difficulty in obtaining financing dropped from 26% in 2015 to just 12% in 2018
  • Low consumer confidence dropped from 5% in 2015 to just 1% in 2018
  • Ability to sell existing home dropped from 6% in 2015 to 3% in 2018.

Median Price of Homes Sold in Franklin County In Past 12 Months Remain Flat And Sales Fall

The median price of homes sold in Franklin County during the 12 month period ended October 31, 2018, was $150,000 according to the STL Market Report™ from MORE™, REALTORS®.  As the STL Market Report™ below shows, this is exactly the same as during the prior 12-month period. During the most recent 12-month period, there were 1,282 homes sold in Franklin County, a decrease of 2.29% from the prior 12-month period.  There is currently a 4.13 month supply of homes for sale in Franklin County and listings have been on the market a median time of 98 days.

STL Market Report – Homes – Franklin County

(click on table to go to live report)

STL Market Report - Homes - Franklin County

Median Price of Homes Sold in Jefferson County In Past 12 Months Hits $169,000 – Sales Down Slightly

The median price of homes sold in Jefferson County during the 12 month period ended October 31, 2018, was $169,000 according to the STL Market Report™ from MORE™, REALTORS®.  As the STL Market Report™ below shows, this is an increase in the median price of homes sold of 2.42% from the prior 12-month period. During the most recent 12-month period, there were 3,407 homes sold in Jefferson County, a decrease of 0.7% from the prior 12-month period.  There is currently a 2.78 month supply of homes for sale in Jefferson County and listings have been on the market a median time of 119 days.

STL Market Report – Homes – Jefferson County

(click on table to go to live report)

STL Market Report - Homes - Jefferson County

Median Price of Homes Sold in St Charles County In Past 12 Months Hits $230,000 – Sales Up Slightly

The median price of homes sold in St Charles County during the 12 month period ended October 31, 2018, was $230,000 according to the STL Market Report™ from MORE™, REALTORS®.  As the STL Market Report™ below shows, this is an increase in the median price of homes sold of 4.55% from the prior 12-month period. During the most recent 12-month period, there were 6,081 homes sold in St Charles County, an increase of 1.11% from the prior 12-month period.  There is currently a 2.52 month supply of homes for sale in St Charles County and listings have been on the market a median time of 74 days.

STL Market Report – Homes – St Charles County

(click on table to go to live report)

STL Market Report - Homes - Charles County

Happy Thanksgiving! How It Began…

Thanksgiving began in the U.S. in 1789 after the issuance of the proclamation below made by President George Washington and was initially a harvest festival.  Thanksgiving did not actually become a federal holiday in the U.S. until 1864 when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed it “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator, and Ruler of the Universe.”.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:” Continue reading Happy Thanksgiving! How It Began…

Median Price of Homes Sold in St Louis City/County In Past 12 Months Hits $185,000 – Sales Flat

The median price of homes sold in St Louis City and County combined during the 12 month period ended October 31, 2018 was $185,000 according to the STL Market Report™ from MORE™, REALTORS®.  As the STL Market Report™ below shows, this is an increase in the median price of condos sold of 5.11% from the prior 12-month period. During the most recent 12-month period, there were 16,841 homes sold in St Louis City and County combined, just 6 sales more than the prior 12-month period.  There is currently a 2.67 month supply of condos for sale in St Louis City and County combined and listings have been on the market a median time of 64 days.

STL Market Report – Homes – St Louis City and County Combined

(click on table to go to live report)

STL Market Report - St Louis City/County Combined

 

Mortgage Delinquency Rate Falls To Lowest Level In More Than 12 Years

The overall mortgage delinquency rate in the U.S. fell in August to the lowest level in over 12 years, according to a report just released by CoreLogic.  According to the report, 4.2% of all St Louis home mortgages were 30+ days delinquent in August 2018, a decline of over 14% from a year ago when the rate was 4.9%.  During the same period, seriously delinquent mortgages, those that are 90+ days late, in St Louis dropped from 1.8% a year ago to 1.4% in August 2018, according to the report.

 

Number of Equity-Rich St Louis Homeowners Increases In 3rd Quarter

According to a report just released by ATTOM Data Solutions, 16.9% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage are “equity-rich”, meaning their loan balance is 50% or less of their home’s estimated value.  As the table below illustrates, this is an increase from 15.8% during the 2nd quarter as well as the 1st quarter of this year.

St Louis increase in equity surpassed the U.S. average but fell behind Kansas City and Chicago…

As the table below shows, during the past 2 years, the percentage of equity-rich homeowners in St Louis increased from 16.0% to 16.9%, an increase of nearly 6%.  However, in Kansas City, the rate went from 12.0% to 21.0%, an increase of 75% and in Chicago from 15.0% to 16.8% for an increase of 12%.  Nationally, however, the rate increase just 1% during the same period, from 23.4% to 25.7%.

St Louis Equity-RIch Homeowners 3rd Quarter 2018

St Louis Equity-RIch Homeowners 3rd Quarter 2018

 

Number of Underwater St Louis Homeowners Falls To Lowest Level Since Last Year

During the 3rd quarter of this year, 14.4% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage were “seriously underwater”, meaning they owe at least 25 percent more than the estimated value of their home, according to a report just released by ATTOM Data Solutions. This is the lowest rate this year, down from 15.6% in the 2nd quarter and down from 14.7% in the first quarter of 2018.  For the last quarter of 2017, St Louis homeowners that were seriously underwater had fallen to 13.8%.

Kansas City and Chicago have fared better over the past 5 years…

As the table below illustrates, our neighbors to the west and northeast, Kansas City, MO and Chicago, IL, have both seen a greater margin of improvement in their underwater homeowners over the past 5 years.  Kansas City went from 23.1% of their homeowners with a mortgage being seriously underwater in the 3rd quarter of 2013 to 9.8% during the 3rd quarter of this year, a reduction of 58% in the rate of underwater homeowners.  Chicago, during the same period, went from 35.8% to 13.2%, a reduction of 68%. Meanwhile, here in St Louis, the rate went from 25.4% to 14.4%, a reduction of 40%.

St Louis Seriously Underwater Homeowners – 3rd Quarter 2018

St Louis Seriously Underwater Homeowners - 3rd Quarter 2018

 

 

St. Louis’ 10 Fastest Selling Cities In October 2018

Not only did the beautiful fall weather of October draw St Louis area families to the popular apple and pumpkin picking festivities at Eckert’s Millstadt Farm, it also brought out home buyers putting Millstadt, IL at the top of our fastest SOLD cities in the St Louis metro area for October.  As our table below shows (an exclusive feature of MORE™, REALTORS® feature), homes in Millstadt took just an average of 8 days to sell in October.  The next nine cities on the list were all in Missouri with 5 of those in St Louis County, 2 in Jefferson County, 1 in St Charles County and 1 in Warren County.

St Louis Metro Fastest SOLD Cities – October 2018

(click on the table to see the complete table with current data)

St Louis Metro Fastest SOLD Cities - October 2018

            Copyright 2018 – MORE, REALTORS – All Rights Reserved

New Home Prices Have Increased At Higher Rate Than Overall Housing Market Over Past 15 Years

I had lunch yesterday with a long-time friend who is a St Louis home-builder who shared with me the continually rising costs of construction he faces.  Our conversation was consistent with conversations I’ve had with other builders as well, who cite a variety of things responsible for the ever-increasing costs of new home construction.  The areas most often mentioned relate to regulatory and compliance issues,  material prices as well as rising labor costs.  According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the average cost to build a new home has inreased 56% over the past 15 years.  According to the NAHB, over the past 15 years construction costs accounted for a median of 57% of the cost of a new home.

The gap between new home prices and existing home prices widens..

As the chart below illustrates, over the past 15 years, the median price of a new home has increased 68% while, as the bottom chart shows, the price of homes in the U.S. (according to the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index) has only increased 43.6% during the same period.  During the past 15 years, new home prices have increased 56% more than home prices overall.

Median Sales Price For New Homes Sold In The U.S. – Past 15 YearsMedian Sales Price For New Homes Sold In The U.S. - Past 15 Years
S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index – Past 15 Years
S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index - Past 15 Years

Will Zillow Put Real Estate Agents Out of Business?

It would be an understatement to say that Zillow® has many real estate agents nervous about their future.  It’s not just Zillow® though, it’s Amazon, big banks, and dozens and dozens of new real estate start-ups and changing business models.

A true dysfunctional family…

The most common name that comes up in real estate agent circles when discussing the impact of the internet on the real estate profession topic is Zillow®, and usually in the context of “the enemy“, so to speak.  It seems to me the biggest fear among agents about Zillow® is that they want to eliminate real estate agents and instead give consumers a marketplace to buy and sell homes without the need for an agent.  What is most interesting to me about this, is that Zillow® made something like nearly $1 Billion last year from selling leads to, guess who? Yep, real estate agents. So, the group that is afraid Zillow® is gunning for them, is lining their coffers with cash to do so, see the dysfunction?  To be clear, I’m not blaming agents here for doing business with Zillow®, nor am I saying what Zillow® is doing is wrong, I’m just commenting on what I see and find it rather fascinating.

But wait there’s more…

Going back to Zillow® and all those leads they sell to agents, what makes it even more interesting is the fact that Zillow® is able to generate all those leads as a result of getting more than 1 million real estate agents in the U.S. to send their listings to them and give them permission to market them.  Hmm…

Homeownership Rate In U.S. Hits Highest Rate Since 2014

The homeownership rate in the U.S. hit 64.4 percent during the third quarter of this year, according to data just released from the Census Bureau.  This is the highest rate of homeownership in the U.S. since the third quarter of 2014 when the rate was also 64.4%.

As the chart below shows, homeownership rates increased in the Northeast and West regions during the 3rd quarter, from a year ago, but declined slightly in the Midwest and the South.

Homeownership Rates By U.S. Region – 3rd Quarter 2018 vs 2017

Homeownership Rates By U.S. Region - 3rd Quarter 2018 vs 2017

 

Real Estate Agents Are In The Goldilocks Zone – What Does This Mean For Their Future?

Will technology send real estate agents into near extinction like it did with travel agents and may be doing with taxi-cab drivers today?   This is a topic of frequent conversation in our industry, especially with dozens of new, well-funded startups, many with new and different business models, all gunning for a piece of the residential real estate industry.

I don’t like Kool-Aid® and don’t drink it..

Don't Drink the Kool Aid Before I start, for the naysayers out there that may think since I’ve spent my entire adult life in real estate that, of course, I’m going to come to the conclusion that real estate agents are critical and you can’t live without one.  Well, to quash those fears, just read some of the articles I’ve written here over the past 10 years, you’ll know I don’t drink the Kool-Aid®.   I do not recite the chant of REALTOR® cheerleaders or anyone else unless I completely believe what I’m saying and feel qualified to speak on the topic.  In fact, there have been many times my opinion on a topic, such as on the mortgage interest deduction, was in direct contrast to that of the National Association of REALTORS®.

Real Estate Agents serve as “The Goldilocks Zone” for consumers….

Goldilocks Zone - Rea Estate Agents in the Key ZoneForgive me for dragging a science lesson into this real estate conversation, however, it makes for a good illustration of one of the first areas of significance of a real estate agent I want to discuss.  In astronomy and astrobiology, there is an area around the sun that is habitable, by not being too close to the sun, nor too far from the sun, that is referred to as the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or by it’s “street name”, The Goldilocks Zone.

I think this is a good metaphor for a real estate transaction.  Think of the sun as the buyer and the seller as earth. The seller needs the buyer however, they really need to keep their distance from one another otherwise it will most likely not end with a successful tranasction.  The reason I say this is homeowners often have an emotional attachment to their home and, believe it or not, often think their home is worth worth more than it actually is.  The buyer, on the other hand, has zero emotional attachment to the home, sees flaws and imperfections in it that are invisible to the current homeowner and, in most cases, thinks it is worth less than the seller.  So, with this in mind, if the buyer and seller, with their diametrically different thoughts on the home are put together in one room to negotiate a sale, odds are it won’t end well.

There is a better way!  Real estate agents operate in the “Goldilocks Zone“, that safe place that is close enough to each party to the transaction to be effective, but not so close so as to hinder the negotiation process.  When a buyer and seller are both represented by real estate agents, they (the buyer and seller) normally do not have any direct contact with each other no do any negotiation between them, but instead allow their respective agents to handle those things.  This keeps the emotion out of the picture and also filters what is said through a professional that will filter the message removing anything that wouldn’t be in their clients benefit.  An experienced agent, without an emotional attachment to the transcation, will be able to think and act much more objectively, than their client typically and their experience will help them know when and how is the best manner and method to convey offers, negotiate, etc.

There are many more reasons while agents are critical to a successful real estate transaction, some of which I’ll cover in future articles over the next few weeks, but here’s the first one:

Because real estate agents can operate in the “Goldilocks Zone” which is a critical zone to be in for a real estate transaction to have a successful outcome.

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Holding Steady

In contrast to reports from around the country of a cooling housing market and even a possible bubble in some markets, the St Louis real estate market continues to hold steady. As our exclusive, STL Market Report for the St Louis 5-County core market below shows, during the past 12-months homes have sold at about the same pace as the prior 12-month period, prices are up a little over 5 percent and the supply, while up, is still at a rather low 3 months.

St Louis 5-County core market home sales and prices

(click on table for live current report)
St Louis 5-County core market home sales and prices

 

Mortgage Bankers Forecast Five-Percent Mortgage Rates Next Year

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), in their Mortgage Finance Forecast released this week predicted that interest rates on home mortgages will continue to rise this year and will hit 5% early next year.  According to the report, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage is expected to come in at an average of 4.6% for the 3rd quarter, which just ended and then rise to an average of 4.9% during the last quarter of this year.  Interest rates are then forecast to hit 5.0% during the 1st quarter of 2019, rise to 5.1% by the second quarter, then stay around 5.1% through the end of 2020, according to the report.

St Louis Mortgage Interest Rates

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis Mortgage Interest Rates

 

 

Are Homes Going To Become ATM’s Again?

During the housing bubble that peaked around 2006 and then burst in 2008 one of the things that got many homeowners in trouble was using their home’s as ATM’s.  They did this by using, in most cases, home-equity loans to take advantage of the equity they had in their homes to give them access to tax-free cash to make improvements on their home, pay for vacations, buy cars, boats, whatever.  This was fine until the value of homes began declining which resulted in many of these homeowners becoming “underwater meaning they owed more on their homes than they were worth.

Yesterday, I wrote an article about the record amount of equity homeowners in the U.S. have in their homes now, even more than in 2006, and today I read a report from TransUnion in which Joe Mellman, their senior vice president, and mortgage business leader, said “There are ample signs that the home equity lending market is poised for growth. Home prices have surpassed 2005 boom levels and household home equity has grown even faster.”  The report goes on to say that HELOC’s (home-equity lines of credit) represented the “greatest number of home equity originations in 2017 at 1.2 million, showing a 2.3% year-over-year growth from 2016”

Hopefully, homeowner’s will remember lessons of the past and be wiser about the use of their equity this time around.  Below is a table from TransUnion showing the top five uses of home equity loans.

Top Five Uses Of Home Equity Loans

Top Five Uses Of Home Equity Loans

Source: TransUnion

 

Homeowner’s Equity Hits Record High

Homeowner’s equity (the difference between current home value and the total amount of debt against the home) has risen to a record level in the U.S. at $15.189 Trillion as of the 2nd quarter of this year, according to reports from the St Louis Fed Reserve.   As the chart below illustrates, this level is even higher than the previous peak in 2006 at the tail-end of the housing bubble when equity was at $13.417 Trillion.

Homeowner’s Equity In Real Estate

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart with current data)
Homeowner's Equity In Real Estate

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – October 2018 – Home sales down but higher than 10 years prior to 2017

St Louis home sales continue to lag a little behind last year, however, through the end of September, year-to-date St Louis home sales are higher than they were for the ten years prior to last year! In fact, the YTD total home sales of 21,043 for the St Louis 5-County core market, falls just 130 home sales short of the 21,173 homes sold at this time back in the banner year of 2006. For the St Louis area, YTD home sales through September for this year are just 5.8% below the all-time high in 2005 when there were 22,344 homes sold YTD at this time of the year.

It’s still a seller’s market in most areas of St Louis and in many price ranges!
Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market 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!   update video.


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.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

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 how- FairCommissionRates.com

Home Affordability In St Louis Drops For All Counties In Third Quarter

One of the nice things about St Louis has always been that it’s an affordable place to live and an affordable place to own a home.  However, as St Louis home prices, and mortgage interest rates, continue to increase, home affordability in St Louis has declined.

As the table below, which is based on data from ATTOM Data Research, shows, all of the counties reported on in the State of Missouri saw home affordability decline during the 3rd quarter with the exception of Jackson County (Kansas City).  All of the counties had a decline in home affordability from a year ago with St Louis County seeing the biggest decline at 11%.

St Louis Home Affordability – 3rd Quarter 2018

St Louis Home Affordability - 3rd Quarter 2018

St Charles Homeowners spend the largest percentage of income on a home…

In St Charles County, home buyers spend, on average, 41.3% of their income to buy a home, the highest percentage of the reported counties in Missouri.  In the city of St Louis, the percentage of income spent on housing was just 21.9%.

Percentage of Annualized Wages Necessary to Buy A Home

Percentage of Annualized Wages Necessary to Buy A Home

 

Sellers Have Reduced Prices on Nearly Half The Homes Currently For Sale

It may still be a seller’s market in many areas of St Louis, but, as our table below shows, nearly half (48%) of the active listings in the St Louis market have had at least one price reduction since coming on the market.

St Louis 5-County Core Market – Active Listing Data

(Click on table for current, live data)
St Louis 5-County Core Market - Active Listing Data

The faster seller’s make a price adjustment the better…

Continue reading Sellers Have Reduced Prices on Nearly Half The Homes Currently For Sale

The Most Expensive Homes For Sale In St Louis

One of the great things about living in St Louis is it is a very affordable place to live, including when it comes to home ownership.  Home affordability in St Louis is certainly much better than the coasts but also beats many, if not most, metro areas.  Having said that, we do have our share of expensive homes though.  For example, there are currently 322 $1,000,000+ homes and condos listed for sale in the St Louis 5-county core market (City of St Louis and Counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin).   The most expensive St Louis home listed for sale, at the time I wrote this article, is a home in Huntleigh listed for $7,695,000.

42 Huntleigh Woods, Huntleigh, MO 63131

(Click on the image above to see complete details)

See the complete list by clicking here.

Of the 322 $1 million+ homes listed, nearly 82% of them are in St Louis County.  Below is a breakdown of the listings by county:

  • St Louis County  – 263
  • St Charles County – 25
  • City of St Louis – 10
  • Jefferson County – 9
  • Franklin County – 15

See the list of the 30 cities in the St Louis 5-County Core market with the highest average home prices here.

 

Are Homes Prices In St Louis Cooling?

Yesterday, the latest S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller (the biggest name in national home price data) home price indices were released for July 2018 (their reports lag behind somewhat).  Even though in their press release, S&P stated “Data released today for July 2018 shows that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months” however, the release went on to say point out, with regard to July’s increase in home prices, that is was “down from 6.2% in the previous month”.  This prompted many news outlets to publish articles with headlines about home prices cooling, the market cooling, etc.  One of those outlets, and a pretty well-known one in the real estate industry among real estate agents, is RIS media who published an article that began with “The foot on the gas is letting up.  The explosive growth in home prices is slowing.”

There is no question that home prices cool, and heat up, regularly and, due to the seasonality of the real estate market, are even somewhat predictable in this fashion.  Therefore, should the recent headlines about home prices slowing be of concern to home buyers and sellers in St Louis?  This is a question I’ve been hearing a lot lately and will give my thoughts on here.

Home prices fluctuate EVERY month…

As our 5-year chart below clearly illustrates, St Louis home prices fluctuate every single month of the year, year in and year out.  In fact, if you move your mouse around our live chart (click on chart for live one) you can see the data for each month and I don’t think you will find two months in a row that were the same.  The other thing our charts make it easy to see is the seasonality of home prices.  If you look at the purple line, which represents St Louis home prices over a 5-year period, you will see the same pattern is repeated year after year.  St Louis home prices increase every year going into spring, typically hitting the peak with sales that close in June, or sometimes July.  Then, after peaking, home prices in St Louis start the slow descent downward until hitting the lowest point in January or February, then start the cycle all over again.  In normal times, such as the 5 years depicted on the chart below, each spring peaks higher than the spring before and each winter low is higher than the prior winters low.

St Louis 5-County Core Market – Price Per Foot and Time to Sell – Past 5 Years

(Click the chart for live, inter-active chart)
St Louis 5-County Core Market - Price Per Foot and Time to Sell - Past 5 Years

Are St Louis home prices cooling off though?

Now that we’ve reviewed how St Louis home prices fluctuate, lets address whether they are cooling off though.  In other words, are St Louis home prices trending downward, indicating they will be rising at lesser rates in the coming months?  This is where our proprietary St Louis housing market data software and custom charts come in handy again and make it easy to answer this question.  The chart below shows the median price per foot for homes sold in the prior 12 months for each month of the past five years.  This is a great chart to use to recognize a trend.

In reviewing the data in the chart below, I first looked at the difference between home prices at the peak versus the trough for each year and found the following:

  • 2018 – 15.2%
  • 2017 – 12.2%
  • 2016 – 13.8%
  • 2015 – 16.0%
  • 2014 – 19.3%

Next, I looked at the increase in the peak price each year from the prior year and found:

  • 2018 from 2017 – 3.8%
  • 2017 from 2016 – 4.0%
  • 2016 from 2015 – 6.9%
  • 2015 from 2014 – 4.5%

From the above, it appears to me the seasonal price swing this year has been fairly consistent with prior years and, while maybe slowing just a little, peak home prices have increased year to year at a fairly consistent rate.  The jump from 2015 to 2016, at 6.9% was higher than normal, but the other years are at rates that are close to historical norms.  In summary, while the price appreciation may have slowed slightly, which, quite frankly, is probably god so that a reasonable appreciation rate can be maintained, I don’t see any cause for alarm nor any imminent major shift in St Louis home prices at this point.

St Louis 5-County Core Market – Price Per Foot Trend – Past 5 Years

(Click the chart for live, inter-active chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Market - Price Per Foot Trend - Past 5 Years

 

 

New Home Construction Trend In St Louis Flat Overall

There were 4,642 new home building permits issued for the 7 counties in the St Louis area covered by the St Louis HBA during the 12-month period ended August 31, 2018, just 2 more (0.04%) than the 4,640 that were issued during the prior 12-month period, according to data from the St Louis HBA.

This would indicate that perhaps the new home building market has peaked for the time being which, given that this is the best report for this 12-month period since August 2007 when there were 5,706 permits issued in the prior 12 months, it’s not bad.

St Charles County’s Loss is Franklin County’s gain…

As the table below, which shows the building permit activity by county, illustrates, St Charles County has seen nearly a 14% decline in building permits in the past 12-months from the prior period, while Franklin County has seen nearly a 42% increase.  Granted, 32.9% of all the building permits issued in the 7-county area were issued in St Charles County, but a year ago 38.3% of all the permits were issued in St Charles County.

New Home Building Permits – St Louis Area

New Home Building Permits - St Louis Area

 

 

St Louis Home Sales Trend Remains Flat While Prices Rise

St Louis home sales remain consistent but fairly flat with 27,636 homes sold during the past 12 months, just slightly more than the 27,525 homes sold in the prior 12 month period, for the 5-County core St Louis market.  As the table below shows, while home sales only increased by 0.40% during the period for the core St Louis market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin) the median price of homes sold during the period increased 5.46% from a median price of $184,900 to $195,00.  There is a currently a 2.55 month supply of homes for sale and the median time a home has been for sale in this area is 68 days.

St Louis 5- County Core Market – Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for live report)

St Louis 5- County Core Market - Home Sales and Prices

St Louis City and County market about the same…

As the table below shows, the housing market in the city and county of St Louis is performing pretty much the same as for the larger 5-county area.  There were 16,828 homes sold in the past 12-months in this area, which is just 16 home sales more than the prior 12-month period when there were 16,812 homes sold.  The median price of homes sold in the most recent 12 month period was $185,000, a 5.71% increase from the prior 12-month period when the median home price was $175,000.  There is a 2.46 month supply of homes for sale and the median time a home has been on the market for sale is 63 days.

St Louis City and County – Home Sales and Prices

(click on table for live report)

St Louis City and County - Home Sales and Prices

  

 

St Charles Makes Money Magazine’s 50 Best Places To Live In America List

Money Magazine just released itsThe Best Places To Live In Americalist and St Charles came in at number 32 on the list and was one of only two cities in Missouri to make the list.  The other was Lee’s Summit, in the Kansas City area, which came in at number 41 on the list.

In choosing the best cities to live in, Money Magazine looked at cities with populations of at least 50,000 people, then eliminated any place that had either a crime rate more than double the national crime risk rate, a median income of less than 85% of the state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity.  After that step, they were left with 583 cities that “qualified”.  From there, Money says they “then collected more than 135,000 different data points to narrow the list. We considered data on each place’s economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, income, crime, ease of living, and amenities.”  Their reporters then even went so far as to interview residents and checked out the neighborhoods of the best scoring cities to narrow down the list to the top 50 in the country.