Actual “Cost” Of St Louis Home Today Over 7 Percent Lower Than Year Ago

Thanks to a strong economy and low-interest rates, the actual cost of a home today in St Louis is lower than it was a year ago, in spite of the fact that the median price of homes sold in St Louis has increased by 5.64% in the past year.   Most people buying a typical home in St Louis finance nearly all of the purchase price, therefore, the cost of financing plays a significant role in the true cost of a home.  Buyers decide what they can afford (as do lenders) based upon the house payment, not the price of the home.

The cost of a home today in St Louis versus a year ago…

As our STL Market Chart below shows, the median price of a home sold in the St Louis 5-County core market in October of this year was $200,000, 5.3% higher than last October when the median price of homes sold was $189,900.  However, as our mortgage interest rate chart below shows, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 3.78%, over a full percentage point less than October 2018 when the rate was 4.83%.

If we do a little math and use our mortgage payment calculator, we find that if someone bought a median-priced home in St Louis in October of 2018 at $189,900 and financed 100% of the purchase at the current rate at the time (4.83%), their payment would have been $1,027 per month.  If a person were to buy a median-priced home in St Louis today at $200,000 and finance 100% of the purchase at the current rate of 3.78%, their payment would be $958.  So, even though the price of the home increased over 5%, the payment on the home (at current prices) actually dropped by 7.2% showing just how much impact interest rates have on the cost of a home.

What are buyers waiting for?

We are entering the “slow season” for real estate, winter, a time when, year after year, home prices typically decrease until hitting a low around January and then start to increase as the weather warms.  Therefore, we are in the period when home prices will be the lowest they will be for the year, interest rates are near the lowest they have been, so, if I were considering buying a home, I would jump into action as I just don’t see how it’s going to get better than this anytime soon.

St Louis 5-County Core Market – Home Prices And Sales – Past 13 Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Market - Home Prices And Sales - Past 13 Months

Mortgage Interest Rates – 2010-Present – 30-Year Fixed Rate

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 2010-Present - 30-Year Fixed Rate

 

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