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St Louis Real Estate Search

How To Appeal Your Property Tax Reassessment

If you are a homeowner, then during the past week or so you probably received a change of assessment notice from your county assessor informing you of the Assessor’s new assessment of the value of your property.  While most people purchase a home with the expectation of it going up in value and, generally, are excited when they find out it has increased in value, this is not one of those occasions.  An increase in the Assessor’s opinion of your property value generally results in just one thing…a higher property tax bill.

What can you do if you don’t agree with the property reassessment on your property?

Fortunately, you do have options, including the ability to appeal the property reassessment if you feel it is high. Depending on the county the property is located in, you may even be able to do so by means of an informal conference that can easily be scheduled by phone.  However, there are deadlines, so you must act fast.  Even if you live in a county that doesn’t offer an informal hearing, or you don’t like the outcome of the informal hearing, you can appeal to the Board of Equalization.  Then, if you don’t like the outcome of the Board of Equalization, you can appeal the assessment to the State Tax Commission as well.  While this may sound a little overwhelming, the process really is not too bad.

Below are links to a couple of great property reassessment appeal resources that will walk you through the process as well as provide you with helpful phone numbers, links, tools, resources and more:

St Louis Year To Date Home Sales Off To Slowest Start In 4 Years

Home sales in St Louis through the end of April this year, are lower than they have been at the same time of year since 2015.  As our exclusive year-to-date sales chart for the St Louis 5-County Core Market below shows, there have been 7,101 homes sold YTD this year (through 4/30) which is down 5.7% from the same time last year when there were 7,529 homes sold. The last time year-to-date home sales were lower at this time of year than now was back in 2015 when there were just 6,727 homes sold.

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD Home Sales 2015-2019

Continue reading St Louis Year To Date Home Sales Off To Slowest Start In 4 Years

St Louis Area New Home Construction Continues To Decline In Most Areas

For the 12-month period ended April 30, 2019, there were building permits issued for 757 new homes in St Louis County, a decline of 22.80% from the prior 12-month period, according to the latest data from the St Louis HBA.  As the table below shows, St Charles County saw a decline of 6.38% during the same period. In February of this year, only two counties showed a downward trend in building permits, but in March that grew to 4 counties and for April, 5 of the 7 counties we are reporting on, show a decline in new home building permits. Warren County continues to show growth and an upward trend in new home construction with an increase of 20.07% in building permits during the most recent 12-month period from the prior 12-month period.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – April 2019

St Louis New Home Building Permits - April 2019

Foreclosure Rate In St Louis Continues To Fall As Market Remains Strong

The strong St Louis housing market, as well as the strong economy, continues to help improve mortgage delinquency rates and foreclosure rates in St Louis. The rate of foreclosure in St Louis in April was 1 foreclosure filing for every 2,167 housing units, a decline of 17.4% from the month before when the rate was 1 in every 1,865 housing units, according to the latest data from ATTOM Data Solutions.  The April St Louis foreclosure rate was down 17.9% from the year before.

As the table below shows, over half the counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in foreclosure activity in April from the month before, all in the double-digits, however, with the exception of the city of St Louis, all of the larger counties saw a decline from the month before.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County – April 2019

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County - April 2019

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -©2019 St Louis Real Estate News – All Rights Reserved

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – May 2019 – Still A Sellers Market!

The number of home sales in St Louis may be down from the recent past but it’s still a Seller’s market!   The lack of home sales in St Louis is certainly not a result of a lack of interest, on the part of home buyers, but more a lack of sellers.  This is clear in the data I presented in this months market update video. 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

St Louis Has 26th Highest Homeownership Rate of Metro Areas In U.S.

During the 1st quarter of this year, the homeownership rate for the St Louis MSA was 66.5% giving St Louis the 26th highest homeownership rate of the 75 largest MSA’s in the country, according to the latest date from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As the table below shows, the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL MSA had the highest homeownership rate during the quarter at 78.0% and Fresno, CA MSA had the lowest at 48.0%.

Missouri Has 14th Highest Homeownership Rate In U.S.

The rate of homeownership in the state of Missouri was 70.2% during the 1st quarter of this year, giving Missouri the 14th highest rate of homeownership throughout the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, based upon the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As the table below illustrates, New Hampshire had the highest rate of homeownership at 74.0% and the District of Columbia the lowest at 38.4%.

Homeownership Rate By State – 1st Quarter 2019

Homeownership Rate By State - 1st Quarter 2019

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rate Rises For First Time In A Year

The St Louis MSA rental vacancy rate during the 1st quarter of this year was 8.1%, an increase from 6.6% the prior quarter, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Given that for 2018 the median rental vacancy rate of 6.8% in the St Louis MSA was a 13 year low, it’s not surprising we may see an uptick in vacancies.

As the table below shows, the rental vacancy rate for the St Louis MSA for the first quarter of 2018 was 9.6% and then fell to 5.6% during the 2nd quarter so perhaps we’ll see a repeat of that this year as well but time will tell.

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates – 2016 – Present

(click on table for complete data from 2005 – present)

 

St Louis Homeownership Rate Slips But 12-Month Rolling Average At Highest Level In 3 Years

During the 1st quarter of 2019, the homeownership rate for the St Louis MSA was 66.5%, down from 70.5% the prior quarter, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  As the table below shows, the 12-month rolling average for the St Louis homeownership rate was 67.5.% in the 1st quarter of 2019, the highest 12-month rate since the 1st quarter of 2016.

St Louis MSA Homeownership Rate -2016 – 2019

(click on table for complete data from 2005 – present)
St Louis MSA Homeownership Rate -2016-2019

 

 

The Percentage Of Equity-Rich Homeowners In St Louis Drops At Beginning Of This Year

As of the end of the first quarter of this year, 16.2% of the homeowners in St Louis were “equity-rich”, meaning their mortgage total is less than 50% of their homes current value, according to the latest data available from ATTOM Data Research.

Equity-Rich St Louis Homeowners – 1st Quarter 2019

Equity-Rich St Louis Homeowners - 1st Quarter 2019

The Number Of Underwater Homeowners In St Louis Increases Slightly

During the first quarter of 2019, 14.5% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage, were underwater on their mortgage, meaning they were in a negative-equity position, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below shows, this slight increase follows a decline in the rate for the two prior quarters.  The St Louis negative-equity rate is about one and a half times that for the U.S. as a whole.

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners – 2013-2019

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners - 2013-2019

New Home Construction Trending Downward in Over Half The St Louis Area Counties

For the 12-month period ended March 31, 2019, there were building permits issued for 748 new homes in St Louis County, a decline of 23.60% from the prior 12-month period, according to the latest data from the St Louis HBA.  As the table below shows, St Charles County saw a decline of 11.23% during the same period.  Last month, those were the only two counties showing a downward trend, but, this month, Franklin County and the City of St Louis have also seen new home construction trend downward. Warren County again showed the greatest upward trend in new home construction with an increase of 23.66% in building permits during the most recent 12-month period from the prior 12-month period.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – March 2019

St Louis New Home Building Permits - March 2019

How Many Real Estate Agents Are There And How To Fine a Good One?

According to the latest estimates by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), there are approximately 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States.  Last year, according to the NAR, there were a total of 5.341 million existing homes sold which equates to one agent for every 2.67 homes sold during the year in the U.S.  Wow, talk about competition!  Granted, not all licensed agents sell residential real estate as many focus us on commercial real estate, including industrial, retail, office, multi-family, and land, and others focus on farms, large tracts of land, recreational property, etc.  Nonetheless, there is still a lot of competition in the real estate industry.

As of last month, there are 1,327,880 real estate agents that are members of the National Associaton of REALTORS® (NAR) and, according to a survey done by NAR of its membership, 70% of their members (929,516) list residential real estate brokerage and their primary field of practice.

How to choose a good real estate agent….

One question that is frequently asked by people interested in buying or selling a home is how should they choose a real estate agent?  You can find extensive information on how to choose a good agent at AvoidBadAgents.com, but below is a list of questions to consider asking an agent you are considering working with:

  • Are you a full-time real estate agent?
  • Are you a REALTOR®?
  • How long have you been an agent?
  • What professional designations and industry awards have you received?
  • How do they communicate?
  • Do they know technology and does their firm use it for your benefit?
  • Ask to be walked through the sales transaction.

St Louis Home Sale Trend Continues To Slow….Rising Price Trend Remains

Year to date, through the end of March, there have been 4,829 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market, a decline of 6.3% from this time last year when 5,156 homes had sold.  As the second chart below illustrates, the St Louis home sales trend (trailing 12 months and represented by the dark green line) peaked in October 2018 with 26,032 homes sold in the prior 12 months but then stalled and has begun a slight downward trend since with 25,583 homes sold in the 12 month period ending in March 2019.

Meanwhile, St Louis home prices continue to rise with the median price of homes sold in the past 12 months in the 5-County Core market increasing 4.79% from the prior 12-month period.  As the table below the charts shows, the median price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during the most recent 12-month period was $198,950, an increase of 5.26% from the prior 12-month period when the median home price was $189,000.

The inventory of homes for sale has declined from last month, with just s 2.33 month supply of homes for sale in the St Louis 5-County Core Market.

St Louis Foreclosure Rate Is Seventh Highest of 20 Largest Metros

During the first quarter of this year, there were foreclosure filings on 1,948 properties in the St. Louis MSA, which equates to 1 foreclosure filing for every 51 housing units, according to the latest data from ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below, which shows data for the 20-largest metro areas in the U.S., shows, this foreclosure rate puts St Louis at number 7 on the list in terms of foreclosure rate.

  

1st Quarter 2019 – Foreclosure Filings – 20 Largest MSA’s

1st Quarter 2019 - Foreclosure Filings - 20 Largest MSA's

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -© 2019 St Louis Real Estate News

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – April 2019 – Sales Pace Off From Last Year

Home sales in St Louis are on a slower pace than this time last year. The St Louis real estate market is still performing well, but just not at the same sales rate as last year thus far. 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

Mortgage Fraud On The Rise In Missouri

While over the past few years we have seen a strong real estate market and easing mortgage loan guidelines, which is all good, unfortunately, mortgage fraud has been on the rise, according to a report just released by CoreLogic.  According to their 2018 Mortgage Fraud Report, the CoreLogic® National Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index was 151 for the fourth quarter of 2018, up 10% from a year ago when the index was 138.

According to the report, Missouri was one of the top five states for increases in fraud risk for each of the past two years, moving from number 38 in the 2nd quarter of 2016 up to 15 for the 4th quarter of 2018.  The top risk factor behind Missouri’s increased mortgage fraud risk was income fraud.

Fraud Type Indicators for States with Highest Year-Over-Year Risk Growth

Fraud Type Indicators for States with Highest Year-Over-Year Risk Growth

source: CoreLogic

St Louis County Has The Highest Tax Rates In The State

Real property tax in Missouri consists of taxes assessed by the state of Missouri, the County the property is located within as well as the municipality the property is located in.  Not all municipalities charge property tax though, and the rate charged by county varies, so there can be a fairly significant difference in property tax rates from neighboring municipalities and counties.  The table below shows the 20 Counties in Missouri with the lowest effective property tax rates.  At the top of the list is Benton County where the effective tax rate is just 0.11%.  Franklin County is the only county in the St Louis area that made the list of 20 lowest tax rates, coming in at number 14 with a tax rate of 0.65%.  St Louis County came in last on the list, with the highest property tax rate in the state at 1.35%.  Click here to see the entire list.

Real Property Tax Rates In Missouri For 2018 By County

(Click on the table for the complete list)

Real Property Tax Rates In Missouri For 2018 By County

Date Source ATTOM Data Solutions
©2019 – All Rights Reserved – St Louis Real Estate News

Which Cities In U.S. Have Lowest Property Tax Rates?

Yesterday, I wrote about Missouri having the 27th lowest effective property tax rate of the 50 states, so today I decided to look at property tax rates for the largest MSA’s around the country.  Included in my list are the 219 MSA’s with a population of 200,000 or more.  As the table below shows, at the top of the list, with the lowest effective real property tax rate of the MSA’s is Laredo, Texas with an effective property tax rate of just 0.35%.  The states of Alabama and Colorado both have 3 MSA’s on the list of the 10 MSA’s with the lowest property tax rate.

To see how the three MSA’s in Missouri stack up, click here to see the entire list.

Real Property Tax Rates In The U.S. For 2018 By MSA

(Click on the table for the complete list)

Real Property Tax Rates In The U.S. For 2018 By MSA

Date Source ATTOM Data Solutions
©2019 – All Rights Reserved – St Louis Real Estate News

Which State Has the Lowest Property Tax Rates?

Missouri falls in about the middle of the states in the U.S. in terms of real property taxes based upon the effective rate.  As the first table below shows, Missouri, with an effective property tax rate of 1.04% in 2018, comes in at the 27th lowest state.  Hawaii is at the top of the list with the lowest effective tax rate at 0.37% and New Jersey comes in last with the highest property tax rate at 2.25%.  Right behind New Jersey, is our neighbor to the east, Illinois, where the effective property tax rate is 2.22%, over twice as high as Missouri.

The 10 Fastest Selling St Louis Cities

Homes that sold in St. John, Missouri within the past 30 days took an average of just 18 days to sell, putting St John in the number 1 slot of Fastest Sold cities in the St Louis MSA.  As the table below shows, the cities that made the top 10 list are all on the Missouri side of the Mississippi, with 7 cities in St Louis County and 3 in St Charles County.

If you are a homeowner thinking of selling and see your city on this list, now would be a really good time to consider listing your home for sale!

10 Fastest SOLD Cities In St Louis Metro Area in Past 30 Days

(click on table for complete, live list)

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

New Home Construction Trend In St Louis Is Down In St Louis and St Charles Counties

For the 12-month period ended February 28, 2019, there were building permits issued for 785 new homes in St Louis County, a decline of 21.11% from the prior 12-month period, according to the latest data from the St Louis HBA.  As the table below shows, St Charles County saw a decline of 13.05% during the same period however the other counties reported on by the St Louis HBA are all showing increased new home building activity for the period.  From a percentage standpoint, Warren County saw the biggest increase at 30.04%.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – February 2019

St Louis New Home Building Permits - February 2019

St Louis Area Home Affordability Best In St Louis City

During the first quarter of this year, homebuyers in the City of St Louis needed to spend a median of just 16.9% of their annual wages to buy a median-priced home, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Services.  This makes the City of St Louis the most affordable county to buy a home in the St Louis area.  As the table below shows, St Charles County, where it takes 37.7% of annual wages to buy a median-priced home is the least affordable county for 1st quarter 2019.

On a positive note, St Charles County had an affordability index of 101 for the quarter, meaning that homes were slightly more affordable there than the historic average.  St Clair County had the best affordability index at 103 and the City of St Louis had the worst at 93.

St Louis Area Home Affordability – 1st Quarter 2019

St Louis Area Home Affordability - 1st Quarter 2019

Should you buy a new home directly from the builder?

Some new home buyers believe that if they buy a new home directly from the builder or the builder’s sales person, they will get a better price.  But is this true?  Do you get a better deal buying a new home directly from the builder?

First, we should address a “better deal” and what constitutes a good “deal”.  If it is strictly price, then, while I think it is somewhat short-sided on the part of the buyer and falls in that “penny-wise, dollar-foolish” category, in some instances, with some builders, the builder will save some cost by you buying from their agent.  This is the result of the builder having an agent that will get paid less commission that the builder would pay a buyer’s agent then if the builder chooses to pass that savings along to the buyer, rather than keep it, the buyer should receive a better price.  However, just like the possible savings motivated the buyer to deal directly with the builder, it is unrealistic to think that a builder is not going to feel the same and be motivated to have a better profit margin dealing directly with the buyer and instead would choose to forego the savings and give it to the buyer in the price. Plus, most builders appreciate and understand, the vital role a buyer’s agent plays in the transaction and wants to encourage agents to show and sell their homes, so they typically avoid doing things that look like they are trying to cut an agent out of a deal by dealing directly with the buyer.

  

Who Pays The Buyers Agent?

I saw an article recently about the results of a survey done of home sellers that found that nearly half of them didn’t realize they pay the buyers’ agent commission when they sell their home.

Sellers pay the buyers’ agent in almost all home sales in St Louis…

While I don’t know for sure, I would guess that the people surveyed were homeowners that planned to sell their homes, rather than sellers that already had their homes listed for sale.  I say this because the standard listing agreement used by St Louis REALTORS® spells out the total commission being charged the seller, as well as the portion of the commission that will be paid to the buyers’ agent which I would think, would cause the seller to realize they are paying commission to the buyers’ agent.

While the seller, when presented with the listing agreement, could opt to not offer to pay commission to the buyer’s agent, the MLS rules require that all listings in the MLS (which is most of the St Louis home sales) include an “offer of compensation” for the buyers’ agent, which will come from the seller.  Therefore, the sellers have to either offer to pay the buyer’s agent or forego having their listing in the MLS, hence why sellers pay the buyers agent in nearly all instances.  It’s probably worth noting at this juncture that this practice has come under attack in a recent class-action lawsuit filed by Christopher Moehrl against The National Association of REALTORS®, Realogy Holdings Corp, HomeServices of America, Inc, Re/Max Holdings, Inc and Keller Williams Realty, Inc.  The suit, which can be accessed using the link below, seeks to ban this type of commission arrangement.

Christopher Moehrl v The National Association of REALTORS®

St Louis Home Sale Trend Slowing Slightly

Year to date, there have been 2,903 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market, a decline of 3.6% from this time last year when 3,010 homes had sold.  As the second chart below illustrates, the St Louis home sales trend (trailing 12 months and represented by the dark green line) peaked in October 2018 with 26,032 homes sold in the prior 12 months but then stalled and has begun a slight downward trend since with 25,756 homes sold in the 12 month period ending in February 2019.

Meanwhile, St Louis home prices continue to rise with the median price of homes sold in the past 12 months in the 5-County Core market increasing 4.79% from the prior 12-month period.  As the table below the charts shows, the median price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during the most recent 12-month period was $197,000, up from $188,000 during the prior 12-month period.

The inventory of homes for sale remains low, with just s 2.5 month supply of homes for sale in the St Louis 5-County Core Market.

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – March 2019 – Sales off pace from last year

The St Louis real estate market is still doing well however, home sales are off to a slower start this year than last year. 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

St Charles County vs St Louis County Home Price Appreciation

Since the announcement of the Better Together plans to merge the County and City of St Louis together into one big “Metro City”, there has been a lot of talk about the impact this would have on the St Louis real estate market. I’ve had several conversations with people in the real estate industry that feel St Charles County, as well as some of the other surrounding counties, will benefit if the Better Together plan succeeds.  Their optimism is based upon the belief that, given what appears to be a tremendous groundswell of opposition to the plan from residents of both St Louis City and St Louis County, that, if it passes, many will flee the new Metro City.

Obviously, only time will tell as to whether the Better Together Plan will even get the required number of signatures on the petition, if so, then whether the voters pass it.  It is only then, in the subsequent months and years afterward that we will really be able to see just what impact, favorably or negatively, it has on the St Louis real estate market.  For now, however, it seemed a good time to take a look at the St Charles County and St Louis County real estate markets and compare them.

St Louis Home Sales Down Slightly, Prices Up, In Past 12 Months

For the 12-month period ended February 28, 2019, there were 37,427 homes sold in the St Louis metro area, a decline of 1.22% from the prior 12-month period when there were 37,889 homes sold, according to our STL Market Report below. During the same period, the median price of homes sold in the St Louis metro area increased by 4.11% from $172,900 to $180,000.  As the table shows, there is currently a 3.19 month supply of homes for sale in the St Louis metro area.

 

STL Market Report – St Louis MSA

STL Market Report - St Louis MSA

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rate In 2018 Hits Lowest Level In Over 13 Years

The median rental vacancy rate for the St Louis metro area during 2018 was 6.8%, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  This rate marks the lowest annual median rental vacancy rate for St Louis since the U.S. Census Bureau’s reports which began in 2005.

As the table below shows, the vacancy rate for the 4th quarter of 2018 was 6.6%, down from 6.9% the quarter before and down from 9.2% a year ago.

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates