St. Louis 2024 Housing Market: First Quarter Update

As we close the first quarter of 2024, it’s an opportune moment to revisit the forecasts I made at the end of last year regarding the St. Louis real estate market. With the data from January through March now available, we can assess the accuracy of the initial predictions and adjust our outlook for the remainder of the year.

Scorecard on December Predictions:

  • 2024 Home Sales Forecast: I projected a slight decrease in the annual sales volume to about 22,400 homes. The data from the first quarter shows a varied trend with the 12-month home sales at the end of each month being:
    • January: 22,702 sales
    • February: 22,836 sales
    • March: 22,690 sales

These numbers suggest a relatively stable market, albeit with a slight variance from the predicted downward trend. The sales in February exceeded expectations, hinting at a possibly more dynamic market than initially forecasted.

  • 2024 Home Prices Forecast: I anticipated a modest increase in home prices to peak around $196/foot in the summer, followed by a leveling off to approximately $184/foot by year-end. The first quarter showed median prices per foot as follows:
    • January: $175/foot
    • February: $178/foot
    • March: $186/foot

The March figure aligns closely with the expected summer peak. This rapid ascent in prices suggests a stronger upward momentum in the housing market than forecasted, possibly reflecting tighter inventory or increased demand.

Updated Forecast for 2024:
Given the trends observed in the first quarter, I am revising my forecast for the St. Louis real estate market in 2024 as follows:

  • Home Sales: The initial months of 2024 demonstrate a robustness that might offset the predicted decline. While the fluctuation in monthly sales advises caution, the overall stability could mean ending the year closer to 22,700 home sales, slightly above the early prediction.
  • Home Prices: The quicker than anticipated rise in median prices per foot, particularly the jump in March, prompts an upward revision in the price forecast. Should this trend persist, we might see the peak prices approaching $200/foot by mid-year, with a less pronounced decline towards year-end, potentially stabilizing around $190/foot.

A Word of Caution:
As always, this forecast is contingent on prevailing economic conditions, including interest rates and inflation trends. Significant deviations in these or other macroeconomic factors could impact the market differently than expected.

In summary, the St. Louis housing market is showing signs of robust activity and price growth in the first quarter of 2024. Buyers and sellers should stay informed and agile, ready to adjust to the dynamic market conditions.

St Louis 5-County 12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County 12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend

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