National Headlines Say Homebuyers Canceling Deals At Highest Rate Since Start of Covid…Is this true in St Louis?

If you’re heard it once, you’ve likely heard it a hundred times, “all real estate is local”.  This is why you can’t put too much faith in national news or data if you are interested in buying or selling a home in St Louis.  This is also why at MORE, REALTORS®, we put so much time, effort and money into producing the best and most accurate local data we can.  We think it’s important to bring the data and information down to the local level.

Homebuyers are canceling deals at highest rate since start of COVID” was the headline earlier this week on Inman News, an online real estate industry publication read by many brokers and agents.  My usual response to news like this is “I wonder if that’s true in St Louis?” and I set out to pull the data to see.

There is not really a way to count “canceled” deals…

While I don’t know exactly what the writer of the Inman article was referencing in terms of “canceled” deals.  However, in a typical contract to purchase a home in St Louis only gives the purchase one way to “cancel” a contract and that is in the building inspection contingency where the purchaser has the right to terminate the contract for no reason.  When that happens it is not reported to the REALTOR® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as a “canceled” listing however, it is simply put back on the market.  There are certainly other reasons contracts fail and listings come back on the market such as the buyer’s inability to get financing, appraisal issues, etc.

“Back on the market” is something we can count…

Data that is available and, I think is likely what was used for the Inman article, is the number of listings that come “back on the market” after having had an accepted contract on it regardless of the reason.  So this is the data I pulled and what the infographic below represents.

St Louis is not experiencing more “canceled” deals now than during 2020…

As the data below shows, for the most recent week we have data, which is through July 9, 2022, there were 116 listings that went “back on the market” during that period.  That is only slightly higher than the same week last year when 105 listings came back on the market and is over 11% below the same week during 2020, the year the pandemic hit St Louis.  So, while the number of back on the market listings may very well grow in the coming weeks, right now it doesn’t really seem out of the ordinary.

Lower-price ranges doing better?

The one thing that did stand out to me from the data, is the number of back on market listings with a list price of under $200,000 is slightly lower than last year and 36% lower than in 2020.  Listings priced $200,000 – $400,000 had the same number of back on market listings as in 2020 and the above $400,000 market saw the number of back on market listings nearly double from 2020.

Back On Market Listings

St Louis 5-County Core Market

Back On Market Listings 


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