Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Lowest Level in Over Five Months

Mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dipped to 6.81% this week, the lowest level since February 1 when the rate fell to 6.63%. The rate for a 30-year fixed-rate FHA loan fell to 6.26%. This has a significant impact on the cost of a home. For example, a change of just 0.5% in the interest rate can alter the house payment on a typical median-priced home in St. Louis by nearly $100.


 

Mortgage Interest Rates

(click image below for live, interactive chart)

Mortgage Interest Rates

Biden’s Rent Cap Plan Faces Criticism from Home Builders Association

President Biden has announced a plan to cap rent increases at 5% per year for corporate landlords with more than 50 units. This initiative is part of a broader strategy to lower housing costs and address the housing shortage. The plan also includes repurposing public land for affordable housing and rehabilitating distressed properties. The Biden administration emphasizes that these actions will help protect tenants from excessive rent hikes and promote the development of new affordable housing units.

However, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has expressed significant concerns about this proposal. Carl Harris, chairman of the NAHB, argues that rent control in any form is detrimental to the housing market. According to Harris, “These rent caps would also hurt existing tenants – those that the president is trying to help — because owners and developers would be unable to cover rising costs if rents are fixed.” The NAHB believes that such measures will discourage developers from building new rental units, exacerbating the housing shortage and worsening the affordability crisis.

The NAHB suggests alternative solutions to address housing affordability. They advocate for strengthening the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), reducing regulatory barriers that delay multifamily development, and adopting cost-effective building codes. Harris states, “If the Biden administration is serious about wanting to lower costs for renters, its policies should focus on increasing the rental housing supply.” By focusing on these strategies, the NAHB believes the government can more effectively boost multifamily housing production and make renting more affordable for Americans.

HUD Charges Appraiser, Appraisal Management Company, and Lender with Race Discrimination

In a significant move to address racial discrimination in housing, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has charged an appraiser, an appraisal management company, and a lender with discriminatory practices. This case involves allegations against Maksym Mykhailyna, Maverick Appraisal Group, Solidifi U.S. Inc., and Rocket Mortgage, LLC, for issuing a biased appraisal that undervalued a Black homeowner’s property in Denver, Colorado. According to HUD, “The Fair Housing Act protects all of us from discrimination throughout the process of buying a home or securing a home loan,” emphasizing the severity of the charges and HUD’s commitment to enforcing fair housing laws.

HUD’s Charge of Discrimination reveals troubling details about the appraisal process, highlighting inaccuracies and methodological deviations that led to a significantly lower property value. This undervaluation subsequently resulted in the denial of the homeowner’s refinance loan application. Diane M. Shelley, HUD’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, stated, “Homeownership is crucial to build both generational wealth and housing stability for Black and Brown families.” As the case proceeds, it underscores the ongoing challenges in ensuring equity in housing and the importance of vigilance against discriminatory practices in real estate transactions.


Discover the Hottest Real Estate Markets in St. Louis: Fastest Selling Zip Codes Revealed!

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the St. Louis metropolitan area? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the latest data on the fastest selling zip codes. According to recent statistics, the top three zip codes with the shortest average days on the market are 62084 in Madison-IL, IL, 63146 in St. Louis, MO, and 63034 in St. Louis, MO. This means that homes in these areas are in high demand and selling quickly, making them ideal locations for both buyers and sellers.

In 62084, the average listing stays on the market for just 11 days, with an average list price of $188,625. In 63146, there are 51 active listings with an average of 16 days on the market, while 63034 has 29 listings with an average of 17 days on the market. These numbers indicate a strong real estate market in these zip codes, with homes selling at a rapid pace. To get the complete list of the fastest selling zip codes in the St. Louis area, check out MORE, REALTORS®. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of these thriving communities.

Discover the Top 3 Fastest Selling School Districts in the St Louis Metropolitan Area

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the St. Louis metropolitan area? If so, it’s important to know which school districts are experiencing the fastest home sales. According to recent data, the top three fastest selling school districts in the area are Wolf Branch DIST 113, Lebanon CUSD 9, and HILLSBORO DIST 3.

With an average of only 4 days on the market, Wolf Branch DIST 113 in Illinois takes the top spot. This district boasts 7 active listings with an average list price of $284,357. Coming in at second place is Lebanon CUSD 9 with an average of 8 days on the market for its 4 listings. And in third place is HILLSBORO DIST 3 with an average of 12 days on the market for its 3 listings. These fast-selling school districts are a testament to the strong real estate market in the St. Louis area.

If you’re interested in learning more about the fastest selling school districts in the St. Louis metropolitan area, MORE, REALTORS® has the complete list available. Whether you’re a family looking for a top-rated school district or a seller looking to capitalize on the fast-paced market, these districts are definitely worth considering. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to buy or sell in these highly sought-after areas. Contact MORE, REALTORS® today for more information.

Metro East Update: June 2024 Real Estate Market Shows Steady Growth

The metro east area of St. Louis, MO continues to see a strong real estate market, with the latest data from June 2024 showing a steady increase in home prices. According to the chart below, exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®, the median sold price for homes in the metro east update was $210,000, a 2.44% increase from June 2023. This also represents a 10.24% increase from May 2024, when the median sold price was $190,500.

The median list price for homes in the metro east update was $200,000, a slight increase of 0.05% from June 2023. However, there was a decrease in home sales, with 601 homes sold in June 2024 compared to 780 in June 2023. This may be due to a decrease in inventory or other market factors.

Overall, the metro east update real estate market remains strong and continues to show growth. As always, for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the St. Louis, MO real estate market, contact MORE, REALTORS®. Our team of experienced and knowledgeable agents are here to help you with all of your real estate needs.

St Charles County Real Estate Market Update as of July 2024

The real estate market in St Charles County has continued to show strong growth and stability as of July 2024. According to the latest data from MORE, REALTORS®, the median sold price for homes in the county during June 2024 was $391,500, representing an increase of 7.26% from the same time last year when the median sold price was $365,000. This also marks a 6.41% increase from May 2024, when the median sold price was $367,900.

The median list price for homes in St Charles County was $379,900 in June 2024, a significant increase of 8.54% from $350,000 in June 2023. However, there was a slight decrease in the number of home sales in the county, with 423 sales in June 2024 compared to 490 in June 2023, a decrease of 13.67%.

As seen in the chart below, provided exclusively by MORE, REALTORS®, the St Charles County real estate market has been steadily growing and remains a strong market for both buyers and sellers. With a median sold price of $391,500 and a median list price of $379,900, it is clear that homes in this area are in demand and selling for top dollar.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in St Charles County, now is a great time to do so. With the help of a knowledgeable and experienced REALTOR from MORE, REALTORS®, you can navigate the market with confidence and achieve your real estate goals. Contact us today to learn more about the current market trends and how we can assist you in your real estate journey.

St Louis Metro Area: June 2024 Real Estate Market Update

As of June 2024, the stl msa real estate market continues to show strong growth. According to data exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, the median sold price for homes in the stl msa update was $299950, a 9.07% increase from June 2023. This also marks a 9.07% increase from May 2024, when the median sold price was $275000.

The median list price for homes in the stl msa update was $290000, a 9.43% increase from June 2023. Despite the increase in prices, there were 2800 home sales in June 2024, a decrease of 18.60% from June 2023.

The chart below illustrates the data and is available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®. This update shows that the stl msa real estate market remains competitive and continues to be a strong investment for buyers and sellers alike. Stay tuned for more updates on the stl msa real estate market from MORE, REALTORS®.

Franklin County Update Real Estate Market Update as of July 2024

According to the latest data from MORE, REALTORS®, the median sold price for homes in the franklin county update was $240000 in June 2024. This represents a 1.23% decrease from June 2023 when the median sold price was $243000. Additionally, last month’s median sold price of $240000 also saw a decrease of 5.51% compared to May 2024.

Despite the decrease in median sold price, the median list price for homes in the franklin county update saw a slight increase of 0.81% from $247000 in June 2023 to $249000 in June 2024. However, there were 14.95% fewer home sales in June 2024 with 91 homes sold, compared to 107 homes sold in June 2023.

The chart below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, illustrates the data for the franklin county update real estate market update. This update serves as a valuable tool for buyers and sellers in the St Louis area, providing them with the most up-to-date information on the market. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to monitor the real estate market in the franklin county update.

For all your real estate needs in St Louis, trust the experienced and knowledgeable team at MORE, REALTORS®. Contact us today for personalized assistance with buying or selling a home in the franklin county update and surrounding areas.

New NAR Rule: What Buyers Need to Know About Written Agreements Before Home Tours

Starting August 17, 2024, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) is implementing a new requirement on its members that will impact home buyers and REALTORS® alike. This new rule mandates that REALTORS® must have a written agreement with buyers before showing them any homes. This change is required as part of the settlement agreement of multiple massive class-action lawsuits where NAR was accused of anti-competitive practices. The settlement aimed to increase transparency and fairness in real estate transactions, ensuring that both buyers and agents have a clear understanding of their relationship and obligations. However, there’s a lot of confusion surrounding the new requirement, including some “PSA” messages posted by agents on social media that refer to the required agreement as a “Buyer’s Agency” agreement.

A Buyer’s Agency agreement is used when you wish to engage an agent to represent you as a buyer and establishes obligations upon the agent, including fiduciary duties to put your interests ahead of all others (including themselves). This is certainly the agreement I would recommend buyers use in most cases once ready to commit to an agent. However, while this certainly meets the requirement, it is not the only type of agreement that satisfies NAR’s new rule. In fact, representation is not required at all. Yes, a written agreement is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be a full-blown buyer representation agreement. Any written agreement to show a property will suffice. The intent here is not to complicate the home buying process but to protect buyers and clarify the REALTOR®’s role and responsibilities, including the cost, if any, to the buyer and where the compensation is coming from. It ensures that you understand the services you’re getting and how your REALTOR® will be compensated, making the whole process smoother and more transparent.

Is compensation required under the agreement?

That is, of course, dependent on the agreement itself, but there is no requirement by the NAR settlement that buyers be charged anything to enter into an agreement to be shown a home. Naturally, if the agreement is a Buyer’s Agency agreement where you will, in fact, receive representation, the agent, like every other professional involved in the home buying process, will need to be compensated, and how much and who pays will need to be laid out.

How long does the agreement obligate me?

Again, there is no requirement for the agreement to last any period of time. If it’s simply a showing agreement, it may last long enough for the agent to walk you through the home.

What if the listing agent shows you the home?

If the listing agent is giving you a tour of the home (as the seller’s agent) and not “working with” you, then the agreement may not be required. Personally, though, I think it is still a good idea to use it for transparency so that you, as the buyer, clearly understand whose interest that agent is required to put ahead of yours.

What is required in the “buyer agreement”?

According to the NAR settlement, the following are the only requirements for the agreement that must be signed before showing a home to a buyer they are working with:

  • Specify and conspicuously disclose the amount or rate of any compensation the MLS Participant will receive from any source.
  • The amount of compensation must be objectively ascertainable and may not be open-ended (e.g., “buyer broker compensation shall be whatever amount the seller is offering to the buyer”).
  • Include a statement that MLS Participants may not receive compensation from any source that exceeds the amount or rate agreed to with the buyer.
  • Disclose in conspicuous language that broker commissions are not set by law and are fully negotiable.
  • Include any provisions required by law.

At MORE, we are committed to providing exceptional service and ensuring complete transparency throughout your home buying journey. Our experienced agents are ready to guide you through this new process, making it as seamless as possible. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking for your next investment, MORE Realtors INLINE TEXT Link – goes to agent website
MORE, REALTORS® is here to help you every step of the way.

” target=”_blank”> ” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>

 

Freedom and Real Estate: Reflecting on Independence Day

As we celebrate Independence Day, we not only honor the birth of our nation but also reflect on the freedoms and opportunities that make America unique. For the real estate market, these principles of independence and liberty are deeply ingrained. Homeownership is often seen as a cornerstone of the American Dream, representing stability, investment in the future, and personal freedom. This day serves as a reminder of the importance of owning a piece of this great land and the value it brings to families and communities.

The significance of Independence Day extends to the real estate industry by highlighting the freedom of choice and the variety of options available to homebuyers. From historic homes that embody the nation’s rich heritage to modern developments offering the latest in comfort and technology, the market provides something for everyone. As we enjoy the festivities and fireworks, let’s also appreciate the opportunities we have to invest in our future through real estate, continuing to build and strengthen our communities in the spirit of independence. Happy Fourth of July from all of us at MORE Realtors INLINE TEXT Link – goes to agent website
MORE, REALTORS®!

 

Widespread Disapproval of National Association of REALTORS®’ Handling of Commission Lawsuit

A recent flash poll by T3 Sixty at the NAR Midyear Conference highlights significant dissatisfaction among real estate professionals regarding the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its handling of the ongoing commission lawsuit.  View the entire report and survey results below.disa

Key Findings:

  • Approval of NAR’s Performance:
    • Only 30% of respondents approve of NAR’s overall performance.
    • A striking 63% disapprove, indicating widespread dissatisfaction.
  • Handling of Compensation Lawsuits:
    • Just 32% approve of NAR’s legal strategies.
    • A majority of 62% disapprove, showing deep concerns about the settlement’s impact.

At MORE Realtors, we understand the confusion and concerns surrounding these changes. Our experienced team is dedicated to helping homebuyers, sellers, and agents navigate this evolving landscape. We provide clear, comprehensive guidance to ensure you understand how the commission lawsuit outcomes will affect your real estate transactions. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in making informed decisions in this shifting market.


T3 Sixty NAR Midyear FlashPoll

 

Why Home Sellers Should Consider Filing a Notice of Intent to Sell

M&I Title Company, St Louis Best Title CompanySelling a home can be a complex process, especially when recent work has been done by contractors. One way Missouri home sellers can simplify their sale and protect themselves is by filing a Notice of Intent to Sell (NOIS). While not required by Missouri law, a NOIS can significantly benefit property owners. Filing this notice shortens the period contractors and material suppliers have to file a mechanics lien from six months to just 45 days after the notice is filed. This can reduce the risk of unexpected liens popping up after the sale.

M&I Title Company, a local St. Louis-based title company whose ownership team includes Investors Title and the principals and most of the agents of MORE, REALTORS®
, takes the hassle out of this process. When M&I Title Company is involved and files a NOIS on your behalf, you won’t need to gather and provide all the paid invoices and properly executed lien waivers from contractors and suppliers. Their streamlined approach ensures that you can focus on your sale without worrying about these details. Even if time is tight, Greg Miller, the manager, and his team at M&I Title can help you close your sale on schedule, providing peace of mind and professional support every step of the way. Of course, the professional agents at MORE will be there along the way to guide you as well.

For more information on how a NOIS can benefit you and to get expert assistance, contact Greg Miller at M&I Title Company. They are ready to help make your home selling experience as smooth as possible.


Housing Market Sentiment Hits New Low: Only 14% Think It’s a Good Time to Buy

According to the latest data from the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index, shown below, a mere 14% of consumers currently believe it’s a good time to buy a home. This starkly contrasts with the increasing sentiment that it’s a bad time to buy, which has surged to nearly 80%. Over the past decade, the confidence in the housing market has drastically shifted, with a significant decline in the optimism seen in previous years. The reasons behind this sentiment could range from rising mortgage rates to economic uncertainties.

At MORE, REALTORS®St, we closely monitor market trends and data like the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index to provide our clients with the most up-to-date and relevant information. Our dedicated agents are well-versed in the local market dynamics and are committed to guiding and advising both seller and buyer clients. By analyzing this data, we help our clients make informed decisions, whether they are looking to buy their first home or sell their property for the best possible price. With our expertise, clients can feel confident they are making wise decisions in an ever-changing market.


Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

 

 

St. Louis Metro Area Home Sales See Steady Increase in 2024

The St. Louis metropolitan area, which covers counties in both Missouri and Illinois, has seen a steady increase in home sales so far this year. According to data from MORE, REALTORS®, there have been 12,130 homes sold in the St. Louis metro area through the end of May 2024. This represents a 5.63% increase from the same period last year, when 11,483 homes were sold.

Compared to four years ago, when there were 13,295 homes sold through May 2024, this year’s sales have seen a slight decrease of 8.76%. However, this decrease is still within a reasonable range and does not indicate a significant decline in the market. Potential home buyers and sellers in the St. Louis metro area can take comfort in the fact that the market has remained stable over the years. For a complete list of the fastest selling zip codes in the area, be sure to check out MORE, REALTORS®. With this promising data, now may be the perfect time to make a move in the St. Louis metro area.

Discover the Hottest Real Estate Markets in St. Louis: The Fastest Selling Zip Codes Revealed!

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the St. Louis metropolitan area? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the latest real estate data. According to recent statistics, the top three fastest-selling ZIP codes in the region are 63134, 63114, and 63117, all in St. Louis County, MO. The top three ZIP codes span a diverse market and geographic area, with 63134 primarily made up of Berkeley in North St. Louis County, 63114 consisting of Overland and several smaller, mid-St. Louis County areas, and 63117 encompassing Richmond Heights in the 40 corridor area of St. Louis County.

For a full list of the fastest selling zip codes in the St. Louis metropolitan area, be sure to check out MORE, REALTORS®. With their expertise and knowledge of the local market, they can help you find the perfect home or sell your current one quickly. Don’t miss out on these hot real estate markets – contact MORE, REALTORS® today!

Luxury Living: The St. Louis Zip Codes Are Among America’s Wealthiest

A recent article in the St. Louis Business Journal highlights the prominence of St. Louis in the newly released Business Journals Wealthy 1000 ranking. Among the nation’s wealthiest ZIP codes, nine from the St. Louis area have made the list, underscoring the region’s economic significance. Leading the charge is Ladue’s 63124 ZIP code, recognized not only as the wealthiest in St. Louis but also a major player on the national stage.

This new ranking takes into account various wealth metrics such as income, home equity, and estimated savings, painting a comprehensive picture of affluence in the area. While Ladue tops the local list with an impressive average home price of $2,239,362, other affluent St. Louis County ZIP codes, including Clayton’s 63105 with an average home price of $1,727,632 and Town and Country’s 63131 with an average home price of $1,600,141, also feature prominently. The diversity of these areas, from the suburban charm of Chesterfield to the upscale vibe of Clayton, showcases the broad spectrum of luxury living within St. Louis County.

In conjunction with this prestigious national recognition, we at MORE, REALTORS® have our exclusive list of the average home prices in the top St. Louis ZIP codes below. This list provides a snapshot of the real estate landscape, highlighting the premium property values that align with the wealth rankings. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell in these coveted areas, our data offers valuable insights into the current market dynamics.

Federal Reserve Projections: What St. Louis Homebuyers and Sellers Need to Know

The latest Federal Reserve Economic Projections, released on June 12, 2024, provide valuable insights into the future economic landscape that will impact homebuyers and sellers in St. Louis. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) anticipates steady real GDP growth of around 2.0% from 2024 to 2026, which indicates a stable economic environment for making real estate investments. This projection is reassuring for those considering buying or selling homes, as economic stability often correlates with a steady housing market.

Interestingly, the unemployment rate is projected to hover around 4.1% during the same period, reflecting a healthy job market. For potential homebuyers, this suggests a favorable environment for securing employment and stable incomes, which are critical for obtaining mortgage approvals. On the other hand, sellers can expect a steady demand for housing driven by a robust job market.

Inflation rates are projected to ease, with core PCE inflation expected to decrease from 2.8% in 2024 to 2.0% by 2026. This trend is crucial for maintaining purchasing power and affordability in the housing market. Lower inflation rates can help keep mortgage rates in check, making homeownership more accessible for many families in St. Louis.

For a detailed breakdown of these projections and their implications for the St. Louis real estate market, please refer to the full report below.



 

Discover the Fastest Selling School Districts in St. Louis Metropolitan Area

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the St. Louis metropolitan area? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the fastest selling school districts in the region. According to recent data, the top three districts with the shortest time on the market are Wolf Branch DIST 113 in Unincorporated, IL, Winfield R-IV in Unincorporated, MO, and Windsor C-1 in Unincorporated, MO.

Wolf Branch DIST 113 takes the top spot with an average of only 11 days on the market for its two active listings. The district also boasts an average list price of $399,750, making it an attractive option for families looking to settle down. Coming in at a close second is Winfield R-IV, with an average of 14 days on the market for its three listings. And last but not least, Windsor C-1 rounds out the top three with an average of 19 days on the market for its eight listings. For a complete list of the fastest selling school districts in the St. Louis metropolitan area, be sure to check out MORE, REALTORS®. With this valuable information in hand, you can make an informed decision when it comes to buying or selling a home in this vibrant and bustling region.

How to Successfully Negotiate Below Asking Price in St. Louis’ Competitive Market

Navigating the competitive St. Louis real estate market, where inventory remains relatively low, requires strategic thinking and a well-crafted offer. While it’s possible to make an offer below the asking price, success hinges on several factors where the expertise of a seasoned professional agent, like those at MORE, REALTORS®, can be invaluable.

First, the amount of time a listing has been on the market is crucial. Properties that have lingered longer are often ripe for negotiation. A well-priced home will see significant activity, so an experienced agent can help you gauge the market response and determine a reasonable offer. Additionally, a property that has recently had its price reduced or has come back on the market after a failed contract may present prime opportunities for negotiation. Sellers in these situations may be more inclined to consider lower offers, especially when presented by a serious and well-prepared buyer.

Moreover, structuring your offer meticulously can make a significant difference. A strong offer isn’t just about the price; it includes having a solid, fully underwritten loan pre-approval, proof of funds, and carefully considered terms. Eliminating contingencies where possible, such as opting for an information-only inspection or perhaps no inspection at all (but not doing so blindly—a great agent can show you how to have the benefit of an inspection without the contingency), can also strengthen your position. Non-refundable deposits and other buyer commitments demonstrate seriousness and can sway sellers.

Where can you easily find listings where offers may be considered?

Trudging through thousands of listings looking for the “needle in the haystack” is time-consuming and frustrating for most buyers. However, there is a site, WillingToNegotiate.com, that simplifies finding these opportunities by showing only listings from the MLS that have had recent price reductions or have had a sale fail and are back on the market. These can be easily searched by the municipality or ZIP code they are in and then filtered even further. Utilizing these tools and working with skilled agents at MORE, REALTORS® can significantly increase your chances of securing a great deal in the St. Louis metro area.

Find Offer-Ready St Louis Listings Now!

Find Offer-Ready St Louis Listings Now! 

 

VA Introduces Temporary Variance Allowing Veterans to Pay Buyer-Broker Charges Amid NAR Settlement Changes

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has introduced a temporary variance allowing veterans to pay certain buyer-broker charges when using their VA-guaranteed home loan benefits. This change comes in response to the recent National Association of Realtors (NAR) settlement, which now prohibits the publication of buyer-agent compensation in Multiple Listing Services (MLS). The concern is that many sellers may no longer offer a commission to buyer agents, potentially making it challenging for veterans to secure representation. By allowing veterans to pay these charges directly, the VA aims to ensure they remain competitive in the current real estate market.

At MORE, REALTORS®, we are committed to staying ahead of industry changes to provide our clients with the best possible guidance. This new variance is a significant development for veterans, and we are here to help you navigate these changes effectively. Whether you are a veteran or a civilian, our team at MORE is ready to assist you with all your real estate needs. Contact us today to learn how we can support you in achieving your real estate goals.


 

St. Louis Sees 4.87% Rise in Single-Family Home Permits Over the Past Year

During the 12-month period ending April 30, 2024, a total of 4,071 building permits were issued for new single-family homes in the St. Louis area. This marks a 4.87% increase from the previous 12 months, which recorded 3,882 permits. 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 experienced an increase in permits, three of which were in the double digits. Lincoln County saw the largest percentage increase at 37.66%. Conversely, the City of St. Louis experienced the largest decrease, with an 18.36% decline.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – April 2024

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - April 2024

 

Metro East Update: Real Estate Market Continues to Thrive in May 2024

The latest data from MORE, REALTORS® shows that the metro east real estate market is still going strong as of May 2024. According to the chart below, the median sold price for homes in the metro east area was $191588, representing an 8.55% increase from May 2023 when the median sold price was $176500. This also marks a 4.69% increase from April 2024, when the median sold price was $183000.

The median list price for homes in the metro east update also saw a significant increase, rising 8.51% from $175000 in May 2023 to $189900 in May 2024. Additionally, there were 671 home sales in the metro east area during May 2024, a 6.00% increase from the 633 sales in May 2023.

These numbers demonstrate the continued strength and growth of the metro east real estate market. With increasing median sold and list prices, as well as a rise in home sales, it is clear that the demand for homes in this area remains high. Stay tuned for more updates on the metro east real estate market, exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®.

St Charles County Real Estate Market Update as of June 2024

The real estate market in St Charles County continues to show strength and growth, with the median sold price for homes increasing by 5.71% in May 2024 compared to the same time last year. According to the chart below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, the median sold price for homes in the St Charles County update was $370,000, up from $350,000 in May 2023. This also marks a 2.78% increase from April 2024, when the median sold price was $360,000.

The median list price for homes in St Charles County also saw an increase of 5.82% from May 2023, reaching $364,989. Additionally, there were 433 home sales in May 2024, a significant 11.31% increase from 389 in May 2023.

These numbers indicate a strong seller’s market in St Charles County, with high demand and rising prices. As a leading real estate agency in the area, MORE, REALTORS® can provide expert guidance and assistance for those looking to buy or sell in St Charles County. Stay tuned for more updates and insights on the St Louis, MO real estate market.

Median Home Prices Continue to Rise Throughout the St Louis Metro Area in May

The latest data from MORE, REALTORS® reveals that the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (stl msa) real estate market is showing no signs of slowing down. In May 2024, the median sold price for homes in the stl msa reached $275,000, a 7.84% increase from the same month in 2023 when the median sold price was $255,000.

Compared to the previous month, May 2024’s median sold price of $275,000 also saw a 5.81% increase from April 2024’s median sold price of $259,900. This steady growth in home prices is a positive sign for sellers in the stl msa.

Additionally, the median list price for homes in the stl msa was $269,900 in May 2024, an 8.18% increase from the median list price of $249,500 in May 2023. This indicates that sellers are able to list their homes for higher prices, and buyers are willing to pay.

The stl msa also saw an increase in home sales, with 3049 homes sold in May 2024, a 4.35% increase from May 2023’s 2922 home sales. This further demonstrates the strong demand for homes in the stl msa.

As the chart below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, shows, the stl msa real estate market continues to be a hot market for both buyers and sellers. With rising home prices and steady sales, now is a great time to buy or sell a home in the stl msa. Contact a MORE, REALTORS® agent today for expert guidance and assistance in navigating the stl msa real estate market.

The Challenges and Market Impact on Brentwood Forest Condos

Brentwood Forest Condominiums, one of St. Louis’ largest condo communities, is currently grappling with significant structural repair issues that have cast a shadow over the market’s viability. Following the revelation of maintenance problems, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) temporarily withdrew its loan approval for the development. This decision has significantly impacted both the homeowners and prospective buyers. In a recent article in the St. Louis Business Journal, it was stated that in response to this, the Brentwood Forest Condominium Association (BFCA) was “working diligently to address reported mortgage lending issues.”

The structural issues and subsequent lending restrictions have had a notable impact on property values and sales within Brentwood Forest. According to the STL Market Charts below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, the median price of condominiums sold in Brentwood Forest increased from $160,000 in 2019 to $220,000 in 2023. However, in light of the recent developments, Brentwood Forest condo prices  have declined nearly 13% to $192,000 thus far in 2024. The 12-month sales trend, as the chart below illustrates, shows that during the past 5 years, condo sales peaked at 123 units sold in the 12-month period ending January 31, 2022, and have since steadily declined 50% to just 62 units sold during the 12-month period ending May 31, 2024. This decline is largely attributed to the hesitancy of lenders to approve mortgages for properties within the community, making it difficult for sellers to find buyers who are not cash purchasers or those utilizing portfolio loans.

The situation at Brentwood Forest reflects a broader trend affecting condominium communities across the nation. The increased scrutiny on long-term maintenance and structural integrity of condo buildings, spurred by incidents such as the 2021 Surfside, Florida collapse, has led to stricter lending criteria. Condominiums deemed “non-warrantable” by entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac face similar challenges, with sales slowing and prices becoming volatile as a result. The case of Brentwood Forest underscores the importance of proactive maintenance and transparent governance in condo associations to maintain market confidence and ensure the financial stability of their communities.

This is why it’s important, when considering purchasing a condominium, that you be represented by a buyer’s agent with extensive knowledge and experience in condominium sales and challenges, as well as a good understanding of the current situations at area complexes so you are aware of issues like those at Brentwood Forest. You can find agents like this at MORE, REALTORS®.


Brentwood Forest Condominiums Sold Prices and List Prices – Past 5 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Brentwood Forest Condominiums Sold Prices and List Prices - Past 5 Years

Brentwood Forest Condominiums 12-Month Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Brentwood Forest Condominiums 12-Month Sales Trend - Past 5 Years

St. Louis New Home Buyers: Why Partnering with a Real Estate Agent Matters

When considering the purchase of a new construction home in the St. Louis Metro area, it’s crucial to have a professional real estate agent on your side from the very beginning. Here’s why you shouldn’t work directly with the builder and the benefits of engaging an agent with extensive knowledge and experience in new home construction.

Why Not Work Directly with the Builder?

Builders often have sales agents on-site who are well-versed in their product, but these representatives work for the builder. Their primary goal is to protect the best interests of the builder, not to advocate for the best interests of the buyer. This means that they are focused on achieving the highest possible profit margins for the builder, which might not align with what is best for you as the buyer.

Without your own agent, you lack proper representation in negotiations and throughout the home-buying process. An experienced real estate agent can help you navigate the complexities of builder contracts, which often include terms that heavily favor the builder. Moreover, a buyer’s agent can negotiate upgrades, prices, and other terms more effectively, ensuring that you get the best possible deal and that your interests are protected from start to finish.

Engage an Agent Early

It’s vital to engage a real estate agent before you even visit the first builder display. Many builders have policies that may exclude paying a buyer’s agent if they were not present on your first visit, which could cost you money. By involving your agent from the outset, you ensure that you are fully represented in all interactions with the builder and their representatives. This can also prevent any potential misunderstandings and maximize the value you get from your investment. Additionally, having your agent involved early means they can help you evaluate different builders and communities, identify potential red flags, and provide valuable insights on the best options available, ensuring you make an informed decision from the very beginning.

Expertise in New Home Construction

Choosing an agent with in-depth knowledge and experience in new home construction can make a significant difference. Such agents are familiar with the construction quality, builder reputations, and the intricacies of new home warranties. They can provide valuable insights into the various options and upgrades available, helping you make informed decisions that add long-term value to your home. Additionally, they can offer an “apples-to-apples” comparison between builders and ensure you are aware of any future developments that might affect your new neighborhood. This expertise allows the agent to foresee potential issues and advocate for your best interests effectively, making the entire process smoother and more secure for you as a buyer.

Why Choose MORE, REALTORS?

At MORE, REALTORS, we have a team of agents with extensive experience and knowledge in selling new homes and building custom homes. Our experts are equipped to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth and beneficial home-buying experience. With a deep understanding of the local market and strong relationships with builders, we are committed to helping you make informed decisions and secure the best possible outcome for your new home purchase.


  

 

 

 

Timeshare Owners Alert: Fraud Scheme Exposed by FBI

A Springfield, Missouri business owner, Brian Scroggs, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for orchestrating a fraudulent timeshare exit scheme, according to an announcement from the FBI. Scroggs, who owned Vacation Consulting Services, LLC, and The Transfer Group, LLC, promised clients he could help them exit their timeshare contracts for a fee. Despite knowing that timeshare companies had stopped working with exit firms, Scroggs continued to solicit new clients under false pretenses.

The indictment reveals that Scroggs defrauded clients of over $32,000 by falsely claiming his companies could release them from their timeshare agreements. His scheme involved hosting seminars across the country where he assured timeshare owners they could either get out of their contracts or receive a refund. However, none of these promises were fulfilled, leaving clients trapped in their timeshare agreements without the refunds they were promised.

This case, prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney and investigated by the IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI, serves as a stark reminder for timeshare owners to exercise caution and thoroughly vet any exit companies they consider using. Always seek advice from trusted real estate professionals, such as those at MORE Realtors INLINE TEXT Link – goes to agent website
MORE, REALTORS®,  to avoid falling victim to similar scams.


Mortgage Loan Fees Increased Thirty-Six Percent in two years: CFPB Launches Inquiry

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) regarding fees imposed in residential mortgage transactions. This initiative aims to gather insights and comments from the public about the escalating costs associated with obtaining a mortgage. As homeowners and prospective buyers, this is an opportunity for you to voice your experiences and concerns regarding these fees.

From 2021 to 2023, the median total loan costs for home purchase loans surged by over 36%, with the median dollar amount paid by borrowers in 2022 nearing $6,000. These rising costs, coupled with increased home prices and interest rates, have significantly strained household budgets. The CFPB’s focus is on understanding the impact of these fees on home affordability and access to credit, particularly for first-time and lower-income buyers who are disproportionately affected.

The CFPB has launched a public inquiry into what they term “junk fees” in mortgage closing costs. According to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra, these excessive fees can drain down payments and push up monthly mortgage costs, making homeownership less accessible. The Bureau is seeking to uncover why these costs are rising, who benefits from them, and how they might be reduced to alleviate the financial burden on both borrowers and lenders.

Mortgage lenders are also affected by these rising costs. Increased expenses for services like credit reports and title insurance can limit lenders’ ability to offer competitive mortgages, as they either pass these costs onto borrowers or absorb them, affecting their bottom line. The CFPB is particularly interested in understanding the competitive pressures and market barriers affecting these fees, as well as gathering data on the broader impacts on housing affordability and home equity.

The CFPB is calling on homeowners, homebuyers, and industry participants to share their stories, data, and insights on mortgage closing costs. Comments can be submitted electronically via the Federal eRulemaking Portal or by email. Your feedback will help shape future regulations and policies aimed at ensuring fair and transparent mortgage practices. For more details, including submission instructions, refer to the full notice from the CFPB below.



Affordable Homeownership: How House Hacking Helps First-Time Buyers in St. Louis

House hacking is becoming an increasingly popular strategy among younger and first-time homebuyers in many parts of the country, including the St. Louis Metro Area. What is house hacking? Essentially, it involves purchasing a multi-unit property or a single-family home with rentable spaces, offering the new homeowner the opportunity to offset their mortgage payments with rental income. This approach not only reduces living expenses but also helps build equity faster and generate additional income streams.

House hacking offers numerous benefits, particularly in a market like St. Louis where property values are competitive and rental demand is strong. For first-time homebuyers, it provides an opportunity to enter the real estate market with lower financial risks. Investors can also leverage this strategy to diversify their portfolios and maximize returns. By renting out portions of their property, homeowners can enjoy the dual advantage of having a place to live while their tenants help pay down their mortgage.

If you’re considering house hacking or need expert advice on navigating the St. Louis real estate market, the experienced agents at MORE, REALTORS® are here to help. With a deep understanding of the local market trends and a commitment to client success, they can guide you through every step of the home buying process.