St. Louis Association of REALTORS(R) Presidents’ view of the market – Second Post in a series

Dennis Norman

Dennis Norman

By: Dennis Norman

Yesterday I did part one of my E-View with Carole Baras, CRS, GRI, ePRO, the 2009 President of the St. Louis Association of REALTORS(R) to get her take on the St. Louis real estate market.

Today I’ll pick up where I left off and complete my E-View with Carole:

Carole Baras, 2009 President, St. Louis Association of REALTORS(R)

Carole Baras, 2009 President, St. Louis Association of REALTORS(R)

Dennis – Carole, obviously many things are affecting the real estate market at this time, many in a negative way unfortunately.  What negative forces do you see working against the St. Louis real estate market  and what effect are they having?

Carole – The city of St. Louis as well as the North County area of St. Louis county have been most affected by the foreclosure rate and this has had a direct impact on the average price of homes. 

In addition, owners of homes in higher price ranges, above the “average”, in St. Louis County have been impacted in a few ways; one in terms of the length of time it may take to sell their homes in this market, two, many times a result of refinancing during the “boom”, they owe more than their home is now worth in this market.  Many home owner’s used their homes as “pawn shops” and now they have no equity to be able to move up or down.

Dennis – You mention foreclosures, and there has been much talk about “short sales” and “REO’s”, how are these types of sales impacting the St. Louis real estate market?

Carole – Short sales and foreclosures are having an impact on ALL homes.  The short sales, including the general lack of cooperation of some banks to get the sales done in a timely manner, has had an impact on pricing and on the the quality of the condition of the home as well as surrounding homes in the neighborhood. 

In the short sale scenario the homeowner is trying to keep up their home in a situation they cannot afford to do so and the bank, in most cases, is not expediting the process so the prospective buyer that is willing to buy, can close in a reasonable time. 

Short sales have more of a negative effect on the market than foreclosures because once the bank owns the property (in the case of a foreclosure) they are motivated to get it off the books and therefore price it to sell.

Dennis- Carole, where do you see the market now?

Carole – This is a strong buyer’s market because of the $8,000 stimulus for first-time buyers and other programs that are available such as Beyond Housing that assist medium to low income families. We still have not seen a strong market for the “move-up” market, but I do think it will follow soon.

Dennis – The city of St. Louis has struggled for years with a declining population. During the boom there was a flood of development activity including a large number of lofts developed downtown and the city even saw a modest increase in population. What has the downturn done to the loft market?

Carole – As with many different businesses, including real estate, when opportunities seem very good, the “Loft” market was a BOOM and investors flooded the market. Now that money has tightened and the buyers are unable to get the creative loans that had been available this has created a down turn in the market. Pricing is being effected by the slow down and we will see opportunities for buyers that were not there before.

Thanks again to Carole for taking the time to share her thoughts on the market with us. Tomorrow I will post the completion of my interview with Carole.

To read part one of the series please click here.
To read part three of the series please click here.

If you wish to reach Carole below is her contact information:

Carole Baras,
RE/MAX Results
4850 Lemay Ferry Road
St. Louis, MO 63129

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