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St. Louis Real Estate Search

 

Mortgage Delinquency Rates Continue to Improve-St Louis Distressed Home Sales Falling

Mortgage delinquency rates, the precursor to foreclosures, continue to fall as the real estate market continues to perform well.  The 30-plus day mortgage delinquency rate for June 2018 fell to 4.3% of all outstanding mortgages down from 4.6% a year ago, according to a report just released by CoreLogic.  Frank Nothaft, the Chief Economist for CoreLogic, attributed the good news to “A solid labor market” going on to say that June’s national unemployment rate of 4% was “the lowest for June in 18 years“.

St Louis distressed home sales falling quickly…

With the economy and real estate market doing so well, distressed home sales (short-sales and foreclosures) continue to decline.  As our chart below shows, the 12-month trend line for distressed home sales in the 5-County core St Louis market (city of St Louis and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin)  fell to 1,137 sales for the 12-month period ending August 2018.  This is a decline of 30% in distressed home sales in St Louis, from a year ago when there were 1,632 distressed home sales during the prior 12-month period.

  

St Louis Distressed Home Sales -12 Month Trend – Past 24 Months

(Click on chart for live chart)

St Louis Distressed Home Sales -12 Month Trend - Past 24 Months

 

 

 

Today’s Headlines Say St. Louis Is “Among worst cities for buying a house” – True or not?

Not that anyone that reads my articles on a regular basis needs any more proof of this, but there was yet another example today of just how “local” real estate is, and why it is so important to make sure you have good, accurate, up to date information before making real estate decisions.  Today, the St Louis Business Journal published an article titled “St Louis among worst cities for buying a home” in which they cited a report from WalletHub that put St Louis at number 55 of 63 large cities on their list of best cities to buy a home in.  The problem isn’t the ranking, as based upon the criteria used, it may very well be accurate, the problem is it really doesn’t paint a true picture of the real estate market in the St Louis area.

St Louis isn’t the “St Louis” most people are referring to…

The report was based upon data from the city of St Louis which I think most everyone knows has been on the decline population-wise for a long time now and has more challenges with the unemployment rate, median income, average credit scores as well as some of the other areas used in the report to rank the city.  However, when locals, as well as many outsiders, talk about “St Louis” they are really referring to the whole, St Louis City and County area, not just the city.

Given that the city of St Louis has a population of just 311,404 people, and that is less than a quarter (23.7%) of the overall St Louis City and County combined population of 1,314,404 people, the St Louis portion of our real estate market is a very small, not so significant part of the market.  Contrast this with Kansas City, Missouri where the city has 70% of the population of the county it is located in.  Therefore, when Kansas City is ranked based upon the city of Kansas City’s real estate market, it is a much truer representation of the overall market there.

 

 

 

Who Wins When Buyer Buys From Listing Agent?

One question that causes much debate among the real estate community and confusion among home buyers is “should you buy a home directly from the listing agent?”.  Many home buyers feel like they will get a better deal buying directly from the listing agent, thinking that it will save the seller some money in the form of commission and that the savings will benefit them, the buyer.  This premise is flawed though as it is extremely rare that this would result in any commission savings (for more info see an article I did on the topic a couple of years ago here) but instead just results in the listing agent making more commission on the sale.  Then, there is the question of representation which, since the listing agent represents the seller, buyers that buy through them are either not represented or, in the case of an agent that does dual agency (which I personally think is a really bad idea) is represented by the same person that represents the seller at the same time.  I’m not going to get into the dual agency issues, or representation issues today though, and instead and just going to address the financial side of the topic.

Being an “Acts 17:11” guy (go to the source) and a data nerd, I’m going to turn to our market data to address the question.  As you will see, how the buyers and sellers come out when the buyer buys directly from the listing agent varies depending on what factors we take into consideration.  So, first, let’s look at listings that hit the market and sell right away.  These seem to be the ones that buyers often think they will have a better chance of not losing out on the house if they go to the listing agent, or buy a “coming soon” listing through the listing agent directly before it actually hits the open market.  For all my analysis today, I’m going to focus on St Charles County since it is such a large and active market.

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Continue reading Who Wins When Buyer Buys From Listing Agent?

House Flipping In St Louis Drops Twenty-Three Percent In 2nd Quarter

House flipping, something that has become quite popular among investors over the past few years and has even spawned several reality TV shows, continues to decline in terms of the number of flips.  This is certainly not due to a lack of interest but instead a lack of opportunities.  Many flipping opportunities are the result of foreclosures and with the mortgage delinquency rates continuing to improve resulting in declining foreclosure rates, the end result is few opportunities for investors to flip homes.

In St Louis, during the 2nd quarter of 2018, there were 835 homes flipped in the St Louis metro area, a decline of 23.0% from the quarter before and a 4.7% decline from a year ago.  This is down 32.5% from the peak during the 3rd quarter of 2005 when there were 1,237 homes flipped in St Louis.

The table below shows the 2nd quarter house flipping data for St Louis, from ATTOM Data Services and includes the median size and age of the homes flipped, as well as median time to flip,  prices and profits.

  

St Louis House Flips – 2nd Quarter 2018

St Louis House Flips - 2nd Quarter 2018

Report Today Says St Louis Housing Inventory Fell 26 Percent In Past Year…Maybe not though…

This morning I noticed the St Louis Business Journal was reporting “In July, the local housing inventory fell to 2.6 months…That marked a 26 percent decrease since the same month last year“.  This report immediately caused me some concern as I didn’t think the inventory was down nearly that much.  Given that I personally spend a ton of time staying on top of local market data and our firm, MORE, REALTORS has even developed its own proprietary software to ensure that our agents and clients have the best and most accurate local housing market data, I would like to think I would know if the inventory had dropped that drastically.

Why data, and the source of it, is so important…

After looking at the reports we have been producing and then digging into the data to double check everything, I found that no, I had not missed anything, and the St Louis housing inventory had not dropped anywhere near 26% from a year ago.   Before I go further, I should mention, I am not bashing the St Louis Business Journal, I like that paper, in fact that is the only St Louis newspaper I have paid any attention to for years and all they are doing is “reporting” the news and information anyway, they are not creating the data.  Also, I’m not criticizing their source of data either, as I’m sure whoever provided the data felt it was painting a true picture as well.

However, the point I do want to make is to say that this is a perfect example of why, if you are a potential home buyer, seller or investor, you really do need to pay attention to the source of your information and market data.  After all, it is data such as this that will help guide you in the decisions you make.  For example, if you are looking for a home to buy in St Charles County and read the article I mentioned and saw there was a 26 percent decline in inventory, you may feel like you better hurry to find a house.  In fact, you may decide you have to lower your expectations of what you want in a home, as well as perhaps pay more than you are comfortable with price-wise, to ensure you don’t miss out.  However, what if you knew instead, as my data below illustrates, that the inventory of homes for sale in St Charles County is in fact just about the same now as it was this time last year?  Would this change your approach?  I think it may.

Remember, all real estate is local…

One of the challenges with housing market data is real estate really is a very “local” thing.  Prices, inventory, etc, can change dramatically, even for similar homes, from city to city, school district to school district and, in some cases, even block to block.  This is why at, MORE, REALTORS, we developed the software we did, and why we spend so much time training and coaching our agents on how to use these tools for the benefit of their clients.  We can produce, accurate and relevant data at any level, for almost any type of housing.

So, what is the story on the St Louis housing inventory?

Below, I have presented several tables and charts to illustrate what I’m talking about, but here is a quick recap of the change in inventory from a year ago:

  • St Louis MSA.   As the first two tables show, the inventory in early August of this year was equal to a 2.67 months supply of homes for sale in the St Louis metro area as a whole (9 counties in Missouri and 8 in Illinois) which is a decline of just 4 one hundreds of a percent (0.04) from the same time last year when there was a 2.71 month supply.
  • St Louis 5-County Core Market. This represents the bulk of the St Louis real estate market in Missouri and is composed of the city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin.  As the tables show, earlier this month there was a 2.43 month supply and the same time a year ago it was just about the same at 2.41 months.
  • St Louis City and County – It’s unusual for the city not to be part of the surrounding county, so we also report St Louis City and county together.  For this market, it was 2.28 months when reported earlier this month and is just about the same again as a year ago when it was 2.30 months.
  • St Charles County – This County had the biggest decline inventory from a year ago dropping from a 2.08 month supply to a 1.96 month supply, a total decline of 5.7%.
  • Franklin & Lincoln Counties saw slight declines and Jefferson County has actually had an increase of 20% in inventory, climbing to 3.64 months from 3.03 months a year ago.

There you have it.  No matter how you look at it, there is nothing that shows a major decline in the inventory of homes for sale from a year ago but instead, for the most part, things look pretty consistent.

Early August 2017 – Months Supply Of Homes For Sale – St Louis Area Counties

Early August 2017 - Months Supply Of Homes For Sale - St Louis Area Counties

Early August 2018 – Months Supply Of Homes For Sale – St Louis Area Counties

(click on table for live, current table)Early August 2018 - Months Supply Of Homes For Sale - St Louis Area Counties

New Home Sales In Midwest Up This Year Over 14 Percent From Same Time Last Year

The sale of new homes in the Midwest region of the U.S. is on the rise according to a report just released by the Census Bureau.  In July, new homes in the Midwest sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 78,000 homes, an increase of 9.9% from June and an 18.2% increase from July 2017 when the rates were 66,000 homes.  Year-to-date this year, though the end of July, there have been 50,000 actual new homes sold in the Midwest region, an increase of 14.2% from the same time last year when there had been 44,000 new homes sold year-to-date.

On a national level, new home sales are not performing as well as the Midwest region, but are still performing well.  In July, new homes were sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 627,000 homes, a decrease of 1.7% from the month before and an increase of 12.8% from July 2017. Year-to-date, through the end of July, there have been 401,000 new homes sold nationwide, an increase of 7.2% from the same time last year when there were 374,000 new homes sold year-to-date.

  

 

Distressed Sale Opportunities For Investors Declined 30 Percent In Past 12-Months

As the interest in investing in real estate in St Louis continues to increase, whether to buy, fix and flip or to buy and hold for rental, the number of opportunities to do so continues to decline.  The primary source of “deals” for investors is typically “distressed” sales; property that has been foreclosed on and being resold, short sales or property in poor condition needing work.  However, as our chart for St Louis MSA below reveals, the number of distressed home sales in St Louis has been steadily declining over the past 5 years.

The chart shows both the number of distressed sales for each month (the pink line) as well as the 12-month trend (green line) and both are on the decline.  During the month of July 2018, there were 187 distressed home sales in St Louis, down 14% from 217 the month before and down 31% from last July when there were 272 distressed homes sold.  For the 12-month period ended July 31, 2018, there were 2,787 distressed home sales, down 30% from the prior 12-month period when there were 3,965 distressed homes sold in the St Louis MSA.

  

St Louis MSA Distressed Home Sales – Past 60 Months

(Click on Chart For Live, Interactive Chart)

 

HUD Files Housing Discrimination Complaint Against Facebook

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) just announced that they have filed a formal complaint against Facebook for violating the Federal Fair Housing Act by “allowing landlords and home sellers to use its advertising platform to engage in housing discrimination“.

Some of the ways HUD alleges that Facebook platform violates the Federal Fair Housing Act include:

  • display housing ads either only to men or women;
  • not show ads to Facebook users interested in an “assistance dog,” “mobility scooter,” “accessibility” or “deaf culture”;
  • not show ads to users whom Facebook categorizes as interested in “child care” or “parenting,” or show ads only to users with children above a specified age;
  • to display/not display ads to users whom Facebook categorizes as interested in a particular place of worship, religion or tenet, such as the “Christian Church,” “Sikhism,” “Hinduism,” or the “Bible.”
  • not show ads to users whom Facebook categorizes as interested in “Latin America,” “Canada,” “Southeast Asia,” “China,” “Honduras,” or “Somalia.”
  • draw a red line around zip codes and then not display ads to Facebook users who live in specific zip codes.

You can read the contents of the HUD complaint against Facebook here.

This is an example of why it is imperative that real estate agents, investors, landlords, and home sellers that choose to handle their own home sale know and understand the Federal Fair Housing Act including things that are prohibited under the Act.  It never ceases to amaze me how many FSBO’s (for sale by owners) feel they are exempt from all housing laws and regulations just because they are not a real estate agent.  I’m surprised as well by how many real estate agents really don’t fully understand it either and think things like what they do on Facebook is different than if done in a classified ad in a newspaper or just because a platform gives you the ability to do something (such as target just one sex) it makes it ok, which it obviously does not.

In any event, when it comes time to buy or sell real estate, I would encourage you to, first off, not try doing it on your own but use an agent, and then select an agent based upon he or she’s experience, qualifications and knowledge.  A good starting point is here – “How To Choose A Real Estate Agent“.

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – August 2018

While St Louis home sales are flat this year the overall market conditions remain good. The low inventory of homes for sale continues to benefit St Louis sellers! 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.


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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

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Why Aren’t More Millennials Buying Homes?

I may have the answer to the $64 question, why aren’t more millennials buying homes? The real estate industry spends a fair amount of time discussing the millennial generation trying to determine where they want to live, urban or suburban, and whether they want to own a home or are happier being a renter.  I have found many answers are contained In the Census Bureau Report, “The Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood: 1975–2016“.

There are some fascinating facts in the report, many of which give a lot of insight into this generation as well as their housing needs and plans.  Below a few highlights:

  • Young people are delaying marriage.  In the 1970’s 8 in 10 people were married by the time they turned 30, today it won’t be until the age of 45 that 8 in 10 are married.
  • More young people today live in their parents’ home than in any other arrangement. In fact, 1 of every three 18 – 34-year-olds lived in their parents home in 2015.
  • Between 1975 and 2016 the share of young women that were homemakers dropped from 43% to 14% of all women aged 25-34.
  • Of the young people living in their parents home, 1 out of 4 doesn’t work nor go to school.

Find the complete report here.

St Louis Zip Codes Where Home Prices Have Increased The Most In Past 12 Months

Home prices in the St Louis metro area increased at what is a pretty “normal” rate (historically speaking) of about 3.5% in the past year.  However, as you hear me say often, all real estate is local, so the market varies significantly from neighborhood to neighborhood.  For example, on our St Louis Median Home Price Change by Zip list (part of which is shown below), of the 101 zip codes shown, 87 had an increase in home prices in the past 12-months from the prior 12-months, 1 remained even, and 13 saw a decline in home prices.  For the increases in home prices, they ranged from .06% to 115% and for the declines from 2.5% to 21.19%.

St Louis Median Home Price Change Year over Year by Zip Code

(click on list for current, complete list of all zips)

St Louis Median Home Price Change Year over Year by Zip Code

Are Home Prices Too High in Jefferson County? Is a Correction Coming?

Yesterday, I had lunch with a friend in the industry who expressed his concern that the Jefferson County real estate market was cooling off a little and questioned the possibility a market correction.  I referenced the article I wrote last week in which I explored the possibility of a market correction in St Louis and, based upon the data we have, came to the conclusion there wasn’t anything to be alarmed about at this time.  However, I had looked at the 5 counties that make up the St Louis core market as a whole (which included Jefferson County) but did not look at the counties individually.

Therefore, this morning I drilled down in our data to look only at the Jefferson County real estate market, including home sales, inventory of homes for sale and home prices in Jefferson County to determine if there were indicators of a market correction looming in the near future.

Is a market correction coming for Jefferson County?

The short answer is yes and probably.  Remember, all real estate is local, so the real estate market can vary signficantly within a metro area, a county, or even a city.  This is why it is vital to have current, accurate market information (why we have spent several years developing our own software) and a real estate agent with access to the data, that can interpret it and apply it to their clients situation (which is why we have hand picked some of the best in the industry to be in our firm, MORE, REALTORS).



Continue reading Are Home Prices Too High in Jefferson County? Is a Correction Coming?

Housing Market Report Card Gives 28 St Louis Neighborhood An “A” and 16 An “F”

In a neighborhood housing market report card just released by ATTOM Data Solutions, 10,950 neighborhoods across the nation were given a grade ranging from an A to an F.  The neighborhood grades were based upon six factors related to the housing market: housing affordability, home price appreciation, public school scores, crime rates, unemployment rates and property taxes.

In all, 82 neighborhoods in the St Louis metro area received a grade with 28 of them receiving an A, 17 a B, 13 a C, 8 a D and 16 received an F.  The list below shows the top 10 St Louis neighborhoods on the list (you can click on it for the complete St Louis list).  As the list shows, the neighorhood of “Riverwood” in the 63031 zip code area of Florissant was ranked at the top of the list for St Louis, coming in at 41 nationally.  

St Louis Neighborhood Report Card – Top 10

(click on list for complete list showing atll 82 St Louis Metro Neighborhoods That Received a Grade)St Louis Neighborhood Report Card - Top 10

See Some of St Louis’ Most Expensive Homes This Weekend

If you are in the market for a luxury home in St Louis, you have the opportunity to view some of St Louis’ most expensive homes this weekend.  Tomorrow, there will be more than a dozen open houses on luxury homes in St Louis priced at $1,000,000 and above.  The luxury home open houses extend from the Central West End to Town & Country, with a concentration around the I-40 corridor.

The map below is a live, interactive map showing all the open houses (you can click on one for details).  For a handy Open House report, which you can print out or save and is sorted by time of open house click here.

St Louis Luxury Home Upcoming Open Houses

St. Louis’ Top 10 Fastest Selling Cities In July 2018

During the month of July, the homes that sold in Maplewood, Missouri took a median time of just 5 days to sell making Maplewood the fastest SOLD city in the St Louis MSA for July 2018!  For July, the two fastest selling cities in St Louis took less time to sell than the number 1 city on June’s list (Columbia, IL at 9 days).  

Considering the sales that closed in June were from contracts executed during the spring market, we would expect the time to sell to be low, but the time to sell for July’s closings didn’t slip much.  In fact, for the 10-fastest-selling St Louis cities on our list this month, the median time to sell is 11 days, a day less than June’s median time of 12 days for the top 10 list.  For the overall St Louis MSA as a whole however, there has been a slight increase in time to sell going from a median time of 12 days in June (yes, the overall median was the same as the median for the top 10 (wow!) and for July it is 14 days.

St. Louis MSA 10 Fastest SOLD Neighborhoods – July 2018

(Click on list for complete, current list)
St. Louis MSA 10 Fastest SOLD Neighborhoods - July 2018


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Is There a Market Correction Coming To The St Louis Real Estate Market?

This morning I watched a video from a firm that reports on the real industry and does so from a blunt, “call it as they see it”, perspective (pretty much my style too) in which they say “market correction indicators continue to roll in” and suggest that, to some extent, the party is over.   This report looked at the national real estate market as a whole and specifically looked at the west coast so is not necessarily indicative of what is happening in the St Louis real estate market, however, can often be an early indicator.

As a result, I spent my early morning looking closely at the St Louis real estate market in search of market correction indicators.  So, did I find indications that the St Louis real estate market is headed for a correction?

Yep.  It’s called “spring is over“.  :)

At about this time every year, we see a correction, of sorts due to the seasonality of the real estate business.  It’s no secret that spring and early summer are always the best time for the real estate market with increased home sales and prices.  As that season passes there is always a “correction” in home prices as they adjust downward for the decreased demand.

However, what I am really looking at is the “bigger picture”, is there an overall market correction taking place in St Louis or headed our way?

While it would be unrealistic to think that if a true market correction is going to be experienced by the bulk of the country that it won’t have an impact on the St Louis market, however, at this time there doesn’t appear to be any sort of serious correction imminent in the St Louis market.  That’s not to say we won’t see the normal downturn in home sales and prices we expect to see due to seasonality.

Below are some charts and tables that I think are good indicators of the health of the St Louis market as well as good indicators of things to come.  I’ll briefly give some comments on each as well as how I have applied the data shown to my opinion I have shared today.



Continue reading Is There a Market Correction Coming To The St Louis Real Estate Market?

St Louis Home Sales Trending Downward Slightly

On a national level, there have been reports lately of slowing home sales evidenced by both new home sales and existing home sales falling in June, housing affordability issues and the like.  Here in St Louis, the real estate market continues to perform well, however, indicators are showing a slight downward trend in St Louis home sales.

As the chart below illustrates, there have been 14,268 homes sold through the end of June in the St Louis metro area, a decline of 4.4% from the same period a year ago when there were 14,925 homes sold in St Louis.  The darker green line on the chart indicates the total sales for the past 12 months and is a good indicator of where things are headed.  As you can see, there was a pretty good jump in this line 2 years ago with a steady rise but it has fluctuated around the same level for the past 8 or 9 months.  Last month, as well as in two of the prior 5 months, it showed a downward trend.

St Louis MSA YTD & Past 12 Month Home Sales – June 2016 – June 2018

(Click on chart for live data)
St Louis MSA YTD & Past 12 Month Home Sales - June 2016 - June 2018

Homeownership Rate In Midwest Rises During 2nd Quarter – Highest In Nation

In the Midwest region of the U.S., the homeownership rate rose to 68.3% during the 2nd quarter of this year from 67.9% in the first quarter, according to a report just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  The homeownership rate of 68.3% in the Midwest region is higher than the homeownership rate for the U.S. as a whole, which came in at 64.3% during the 2nd quarter, and is the highest of any region.  The South region has the 2nd highest homeownership rate at 65.9% and the West region the lowest at 59.7%, according to the report.

So much for “millennials don’t want to own homes“…

In many real estate circles over the past couple of years, there has been much debate over whether millennials have any interest in homeownership or not.  Probably more than half the time the consensus is this generation is not nearly as interested in, or focused on, homeownership as their baby boomer parents.  However, in the homeownership report for the 2nd quarter, the age group that had the largest increase in home ownership was the “under 35 years old” group.  Granted, this group has the lowest homeownership rate of the age groups in the report but increased to 36.5% from 35.3% in the prior quarter.  The homeownership rate for the older groups, 55-64 years and 65 years and above, both declined during the 2nd quarter to 75.1% from 75.4% and to 78.0% from 78.5%, both respectively.

Homeownership Rate – 1995-2018 – Chart

Homeownership Rate - 1995-2018 - Chart

 

 

New Home Sales Rate In The Midwest Decreases In June But Up From Year Ago

New homes sold in the Midwest region of the U.S. in June were at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 71,000 homes, according to a report just released by the U.S. Department of Commerce and United States Census Bureau.  June’s new home sales activity in the Midwest represents a 13.4% decline from May when new homes in the Midwest sold at an annual rate of 82,000 homes but is a 7.6% increase from June 2017 when the annual rate was 66,000 homes.  Last year the rate of new home sales in this region increased every month after June up until December when it crashed but closed out the year with 72,000 new homes sold.

In terms of the actual number of new homes sold this year in the Midwest region, there have been 44,000 new homes sold this year thus far, through the end of June.  Last year, for the same time period, there were just 38,000 new homes sold in this region year to date so we are up 14.4% in non-seasonally adjusted, actual year to date new home sales in the Midwest through the end of June.

  

U.S. New Home Sales – 2013-2018 – Chart

U.S. New Home Sales - 2013-2018 - Chart

 

St Louis’s Most Expensive Homes

St Louis’s most expensive homes currently for sale:St Louis' Most Expensive Homes For Sale

St Louis’s most expensive homes sold during past 3 years:
St Louis's most expensive homes sold during past 3 years:

St Louis Ranked 4th In Nation For Home Price Inequality

Generally, when we think of inequality, such as income inequality, we perceive it as a bad thing however, when it comes to home prices, perhaps inequality is a good thing!  A recent study of home price inequality by Lending Tree resulted in St Louis being ranked as the 4th highest metro area in the nation for home price inequailty.  How Lending Tree ranked the cities was by using the GINI coefficient which is often used to measure income inequality.  The way it works, in a nutshell, is a GINI Coefficient of 0 means everything is equal, so everything is at the same value and a 1 means nothing is equal and there is one value for one and everyone else has none. So the higher the number, the greater equality.  St Louis has a GINI coefficient of 0.379.

Why is Home Price Inequality Good?

The reason I said home price inequality is a good thing for St Louis is that it means we have homes in a wide range of price ranges thereby making them affordable to people at widely different income levels.  For example, as the table below shows, the 95th Percentile home price in St Louis is $493,000 while the 5th Percentile is only $43,000 which works out to a ratio between the 95th and 5th percentile of 11.5, a huge gap.  By comparision, #50 on the list is Salt Lake City, Utah, where the 95th percentile home price is $597,000 and the 5th percentile $191,000 for a ratio of just 3.1.

Home Price Inequality In The U.S. – Top 10 MSA’s

Home Price Inequality In The U.S. - Top 10 MSA's

 

St Louis’ Millennial Population Shows a Shift From City To St Charles County

The millennial generation, people born from 1981 through 1994, is predicted to outnumber the baby boomer generation sometime in 2019.  Given the size of the generation, as well as the fact many are getting married and starting families, the real estate industry is very interested in these young people.  Much time is spent trying to figure out whether they want to buy or rent, whether they will consider the suburbs or just stick to urban areas, etc.

Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that more than a third of the residents in the city of St Louis are millennials, attracted, no doubt, by the city lifestyle, a sharp contrast from the suburban upbringing many of them had with their baby boomer parents.  However, the tides may be turning though.

As the table below shows, during 2017 the millennial population in the city of St Louis dropped by 1.4% while St Charles County grew by 1.0% and St Louis and Jefferson County by 0.3% each.  As of 2017, the city of St Louis had 105,900 millennials living there, while St Charles County had 103,500, but if the trend continues, the millennial population in St Charles County will surpass the city of St Louis soon.  Who knows?  Maybe the millennials are more like us baby boomers than we thought and will end up buying homes in suburbia?

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change – 2017

St Louis Area Millennial Population and Population Change - 2017

Projected Population by Generation

Projected Population by Generation

Missouri Ranks 9th For Most Restrictive Zoning In U.S.

According to a recent report published by the Cato Institute, the state of Missouri ranks 9th in the nation for having the most restrictive zoning regulations.  Many anti-development folks may applaud this fact and look at it as a victory.  However, many people in the real estate industry, including yours truly, believe that overly restrictive zoning regulations greatly impact the cost of new home construction resulting in increased home prices and less affordable housing.  Couple the increased costs along with the reduced density permitted by overly restrictive zoning and you have a real impediment to the development of affordable or “work-force” housing.

Zoning regulations first came about in the U.S. early in the 20th century first around 1908 when Los Angeles adopted municipal zoning and land-use laws.  In 1916 the city of New York passed a comprehensive zoning code as well.  Other municipalities followed suit and, according to the Cato report, 68 additional municipalities had adopted zoning by 1926.  In 1926 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case, Village of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365 (1926) ruled that “If they are not arbitrary or unreasonable, zoning ordinances are constitutional under the police power of local governments as long as they have some relation to public health, safety, morals, or general welfare“.  After the Supreme Court decision, zoning regulations exploded around the country and, just 10 years later, another 1,246 municipalities had adopted zoning.

Today, while much of the zoning, and the people that created it and enforce it, are well intentioned, in many cases it goes well beyond it’s original purpose of “health and human safety”.  It is common for zoning and land use regulations to include minimum lot sizes that severly limit the development potential of the land thus driving up the cost of the housing.  In addition, it’s common for zoning to include design requirements and features, driven by the personal preferences or ideology of elected and appointed officials with nothing to do with health or human safety, thus further driving up the cost of new housing.

It’s not just zoning and land use regulations however that are keeping new homes from being built at a faster rate in St Louis.  There are other regulations that negatively impact new home construction and drive costs up such as the clean water act and similar environmental-related regulations which have caused the costs of lot development to more than double over the past few years.

  

 

Mortgage Interest Rates After Peaking In May Are Staying Down Near April Levels

Today, Freddie Mac, through their Primary Mortgage Market Survey® revealed that for the current average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at 4.52%. which is just a slight decline from a week ago when the rate was 4.53% and the same as the week before that.  After 30-year fixed-rate mortgages hit 4.66%, the highest rate in 7-years, back in late May, they have been trending downward a little, which is good news for the real estate market!

30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average – 2000 – Present

(Click on Chart for LIVE chart with current data)30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Average - 2000 - Present

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – July 2018

The St Louis real estate market continues to be an enjoyable one for sellers who benefit from the low inventory of homes for sale and somewhat of a challenge for home buyers who face stiff competition. The lack of inventory of available listings has contributed to St Louis home sales this year falling a little behind last years home sales. 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.


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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

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Top Ten St Louis Metro Cities Where Homes Sold The Fastest In June

It took an average of just 9 days for homes to sell in Columbia, Illinois last month, making Columbia the fastest selling city in the St Louis MSA during June.  Waterloo was the other Illinois city that made the list (#4) with the remaining 8 cities being in Missouri.  Of the eight cities in Missouri on the list, 7 are in St Louis County and 1 in St Charles County.

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St Louis MSA Top 10 Fastest SOLD Cities In June 2018

(click on the list below for complete list)

St Louis MSA Top 10 Fastest SOLD Cities In June 2018

St Louis Home Sales Decline Slightly While Prices Rise

Home sales in St Louis declined a little over 2 percent during the most recent 12-month period from the prior period while the median price of homes sold in St Louis rose 4.4%, according to the latest data from MORE, REALTORS.

St Louis home sales are trending downward slightly as well, as illustrated by the chart below.  The light green line depicts year to date home sales for the St Louis 5-county core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) and reveals that through June of this year, there have been 13,237 homes sold and, at the same time last year, 13,466, a decline of 1.7% in year to date sales.


St Louis 5-County Home Sales & Home Prices

(click on the table below for live report and complete data)

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD & Past 12 Months Home Sales

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD & Past 12 Months Home Sales

 

St Charles County Residents Have Best Housing Affordability Threshold In St Louis Area

Nearly 80 percent (78.8%) of the homeowners with a mortgage in St Charles County spend less than 30% of their household income for gross monthly housing costs, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest data.  As the table below shows, the 4-largest St Louis area counties are all within the green (good) level for housing affordability in all categories:  Homeowners with a mortgage, homeowners without a mortgage and renters.

Of the three categories, St Louis renters have the worst housing affordability threshold with a median of 46.3% of St Louis renters spending more then 30% of their household income on housing costs.  Conversely, a median of just 25.6% of St Louis homeowners with a mortgage, spend more than30% of their household income on housing costs.

Of the four counties reported on in the table below, residents of the city of St Louis fare the worst in all 3 categories in terms of their housing affordability threshold.

St Louis Area Housing Affordability ThresholdSt Louis Area Housing Affordability Threshold

Source: NACo Analysis of U.S. Census Bureau – American Community Survey (ACS) 5 year estimates, 2016

 

Happy Independence Day!

Declaration of Independence Today, the Fourth of July is the day we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence which took place 242 years ago on July 4, 1776.  With the signing of this Declaration, the 13 colonies, or united States, declared their independence from Great Britain and thus, the United States was born!

While I don’t recall the specific number of times I have read this document, I can say with reasonable certainty that I doubt the number would take more than one hand to count.  It’s pretty amazing that such an important document while referred to often, and celebrated annually, is read so little.  Or, perhaps, I’m in the minority and others read it more often than I.

In any event, in celebration of “the 4th of July” or, more accurately, “Independence Day”, I just read the complete context of the Declaration of Independence and have shared it below for all that are interested to read.  When you take the time to read it, think about what was happening at the time, the number of people that risked their lives, and gave their lives to create this, then later defend it, and then digest it all, it’s a pretty amazing document.

Continue reading Happy Independence Day!

Are iBuyers Changing The Way People Sell Their Homes?

One of the “buzz words” you hear often in the real estate industry today is “disrupter“.  To disrupt, by definition, is to “throw into turmoil or disorder, interrupt the progress of (a movement, meeting, etc) or break or split (something) apart.”  With dozens and dozens of new startups, new business models and new practices coming upon the real estate scene over the last handful of years, it seems practically everyone wants to disrupt the real estate industry.  Why not?  Afterall, there was some $70 Billion (yes, Billion with a “B”) in commissions made by residential real estate agents last year on the 5.5 million home sales that took place in 2017, so who wouldn’t want a piece of that pie?

One of the disrupters that have come along is the “iBuyer”, which refers to one of the Internet-based company’s that buys homes directly from sellers offering them an alternative to the more traditional method of listing their home, waiting for the buyer to surface and then waiting for the closing.  Some, or perhaps many, real estate agents are concerned that iBuyers may negatively impact their profession if in no other way by putting a dent in their commissions by offering sellers a way to sell their homes without an agent.  However, before agents get too worried about it and before sellers get too excited about the idea, especially in St Louis, we need to recognize a few things: According to ATTOM Data, the two biggest iBuyers, Offerpad and Opendoor combined only purchased a total of 3,992 homes in 2017 so less than 1/10 of 1% of the 5,510,000 homes sold that year, this is nothing new, and, there is a price to pay for the convenience.

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Continue reading Are iBuyers Changing The Way People Sell Their Homes?