St Louis Real Estate Market Update – Video

Is the St Louis real estate market going to crash?  The national news is filled lately with reports of slowing housing markets throughout the country, increasing inventories, falling sales and prices.  Some prognosticators are predicting some metro areas will see home prices fall by as much as 40 or 50 percent.  Is the St Louis real estate market on a similar trajectory??  While I can’t predict the future, I can share data to help you see where the St Louis real estate market is currently as well as where the data shows it’s headed.  

In our MORE, REALTORS 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!  

St Louis Real Estate Market Update - Video

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St Louis Real Estate Market Report For October 2022

Below is our St Louis Real Estate Market Report for October 2022 for the City and County of St Louis combined.  You can access the full infographic, containing data for St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties as well by clicking on the image below.

St Louis Real Estate Report for October 2022

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)St Louis Real Estate Report for October 2022

Time On Market and Percentage of St Louis Listings With Reduced Prices Continues To Increase

As the infographic below illustrates, the time active listings in St Louis have been on the market is much greater than the time it took homes that closed last month to sell.  In addition, a much greater percentage of the current active listings have reduced their asking prices versus the sales that closed last month.

The most dramatic increase in days on the market was in St Charles County.   Active listings in St Charles County have been on the market a median time of 38 days, almost 5 times as long as the sales that closed in September where the median time on the market was just 8 days.  All 5 counties reported below saw the percentage of listings with a price reduction go up about the same, from twenty-something percent to forty-something percent.

Fannie Mae Predicts Lower Home Sales and Home Prices Next Year

Yesterday, Fannie Mae released their October housing forecast in which they forecast, among other things, where home sales and prices are headed.  The report incudes a forecast for next year, which included:

  • Home prices in 2023 to decline 1.5% from 2022
  • Home sales to finish 2022 down nearly 18% from last year and drop another 22% in 2023
  • New home construction to end 2022 down 3.6% from last year and drop another 25% in 2023.
  • Mortgage Interest Rates will continue to rise the rest of these year, ending the year at 6.7% and then will ease back to 6.4% in 2023.

See Fannie Maes Complete Housing Forecast HERE

Nearly Half The Active St Louis Listings Have Reduced The Asking Price

As the STL Real Estate Trends report below shows, as of last week, 43% of the active listings in the St Louis 5-County core market have a current asking price that is lower than the initial asking price.  This is more than a 100% increase from the same week last year when only 20% of the listings had a reduced asking price.

Franklin County saw the biggest increase in price reductions on listings  from last year with an increase from 14% to 47%.  Franklin County also has the highest percentage of active listings with a reduced price and St Charles County, at 38%, the lowest.

STL Real Estate Trends Report – Price Reductions

(click on report for most recent report)

STL Real Estate Trends Report - Price Reductions  St Louis 5-County Core Market

St Louis Real Estate Market Report For September 2022

Below is our St Louis Real Estate Market Report for September 2022 for the City and County of St Louis combined.  You can access the full infographic, containing data for St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties as well by clicking on the image below.  Worth noting and remembering is not all data is created equally nor is all of what you see reported accurate.  Given the challenging and rapidly changing economic times we are in which are having an direct impact on the St Louis housing and real estate market, now, almost more than ever, you need to be sure the data you base your real estate decisions on is accurate and the agents you are trusting to get you through the process have the knowledge, information and accurate data they need to do so.  At MORE, REALTORS® we have developed proprietary software which uses the database we have created from the REALTOR® MLS (MARIS) to produce what we believe is the most accurate and relevant data and reports for the St Louis residential real estate market.  For example, currently, there are other sources reporting (and many, many real estate agents sharing the information without verifying) that the median price for homes sold in the City and County of St Louis during September was over 6% higher than our data shown below.  Think what an impact that could have on you if you base your decision to buy or sell a home on pricing data that is over stating the value.

Oh, how do we know we’re right?  We have proof, straight from the MLS, see the image below our infographic which is a screen shot straight from the MLS showing date for closed sales during the month of September in the city and county of St Louis.  You’ll find that the median price from the MLS is $250,000, the same as our data computed, the number of sales is a little higher in the MLS (20 or just over 1%) because while about 99% of sales are sent out in “feeds” to broker websites etc (including Zillow and Realtor.com) there are a few listings that are not and the DOM (days on market, or days to sell) at 10 is very close to our 12 (this is due to us using a slightly different method to compute median for the data).

St Louis Real Estate Report for September 2022

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)
Continue reading “St Louis Real Estate Market Report For September 2022

House Payment On Typical St Louis Home Increased Over 50% In Past 12-Months (Infographic)

Click on the image below to see the InfographicHow Interest Rates Affect The Cost of a St Louis Home - Infographic

Why St Louis Home Prices Are Going To Decline

A little over two weeks ago I wrote my most recent article addressing St Louis home prices titled “Will St Louis Home Prices Decline?” in which my short answer was “yes”, but kind of tongue in cheek and based upon the seasonality of home prices, but my longer answer was more vague.  I mentioned that there certainly is a correction coming but pointed out that there are so many variables that will affect prices that it is hard to say to what extent this correction will be.  While this is still true, a lot has happened in the short time period since that article that has caused me to become more bearish on the St Louis real estate market to the point where I’m confident St Louis home prices will decline.

What has changed in the last 16 days…

  • While it doesn’t directly impact the St Louis market, hurricane Ian has wreaked havoc on a lot of Florida and other areas and will no doubt impact the overall housing market and economy and likely in more of a negative way.
  • Interest rates have risen another 1/2% hitting and staying near 7%.
  • The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) just announced that mortgage applications dropped over 14% during the last week of September, the biggest one-week drop in 17 months and pushed their index down to the lowest point since 1997.
  • The percentage of active listings that have reduced the asking price at least once broke the 40% mark.
  • The 12-month home sales trend for St Louis for the period ending September 30, 2022 fell to the lowest point in over 2-years.
  • Active listings in St Louis have been for sale a median of 43 days over four times higher than the median time to sell during the past 2 years of 10 days.

Market data pointing to lower St Louis home prices…

  • The declining sales trend mentioned above.  As chart 1 below shows, home sales during September in St Louis were down nearly 19% from last September.
  • The declining home price trend.  Chart 1 also reveals the median price of homes sold during September 2022 was $267,500, only 2.8% from then September 2021 when the median sold price was $260,000 which was a 8.3% increase from September 2020 when the median price was $240,000.
  • Showings on active listings continues to decline.  Chart 2 shows there are almost 10% fewer showings of active listings now then there were in the first week of January (the slowest time of the year).  Last year at this time showing activity was over 30% higher than now and in 2020 it was abut 55% higher.  Fewer showings mean fewer sales in coming.
  • The widening gap between home prices and rental rates.  Chart 3 shows the home price index (blue line) rising above the rental rates (red line) at a fairly steep rate. Historically, such as the late 1980’s – 2000 shown on the left side of the chart, these two lines track closely with home prices slight below the rental rates line.  The last time home prices started increasing more than rents was in the early 2000’s and this continue until the gap widened to the point that something had to give…either home prices had to fall or rents had to increase.  In 2008, the bubble burst and home prices fell.  While the present gap is not as large as it was during the height of the housing market bubble in 2006-07, we’re headed that way.
  • CPI and St Louis Home Price Index are hitting bubble levels.  Chart 4 shows the rate of change (year over year) in CPI and the  St Louis home price index.  The rate of change in both has already exceeded what in the past (with the exception of 1979 when it went a little higher) has triggered home prices to fall.
  • Home price and interest rate increases are killing St Lous home affordability.  Table 5 shows that currently, based upon median home prices and interest rates, one year of house payments (principal and interest only) take about 30% of the median household income for St Louis.  In 2007, at the peak of the housing bubble, it was only 21% and in 2000, which many economists use as a “normal” or baseline year, it was 20%.  So the real cost of a typical St Louis home to a typical St Louis family is about 50% higher now than normal.

Mortgage Interest Rates Top 7 Percent for first time in over 20 years

Today, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 7.08% marking the first time in over 20-years the rate has gone above 7%.  Historically speaking, as the 2nd chart shows, this is not that high of an interest rate and, in fact, lower than the median rate over the past 50 years, however, it’s a very high rate based upon the the recent past.

The affect of interest rates on home prices…

Interest rates just began increasing in the past few months, rising above the 4% level in February, so it will take time to see the impact of this on home prices.  We’re beginning to see the effect in prices somewhat, particularly with the decrease of “overbids” and an increase in reduced prices on active listings, but nothing too dramatic yet.  For example, as the bottom chart shows, the median price of homes sold in St Louis in August was $280,000, a nearly 11% increase from the median price of $252,450 a year ago. Since home prices typically peak around June, they are usually lower in August than June or July.  If we examine this to see if perhaps there was a bigger decline in those months this year than last we find that last year prices dropped 3/4 of 1% from June to July and then dropped 4% from July to August, for a total decline of 4.7% from June’s peak to August.  This year, prices dropped 3.9% from June to July, then 1.7% from July to August for a total decline of 5.6%, only slightly higher than last year.  I do think we’ll see a larger impact than this, but thus far it’s not so bad.

 

Mortgage Interest Rates Based Upon the MND Rate Index

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Mortgage Interest Rates Based Upon the MND Rate Index

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Interest Rates 1970-Present

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Interest Rates 1970-Present

St Louis 5-County Core Home Prices and Sales – Past 25 Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Home Prices and Sales - Past 25 Months

Will St Louis Home Prices Decline?

The short answer is yes.  They decline every year as we head into winter due to the seasonal nature of the business.  If you look at the first chart below which depicts the median price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-County core market since 1998, you will notice a very consistent pattern of prices rising in the spring and summer, then declining in the fall and winter.  For the most part, the other pattern you will see is that the peak each spring is higher than the spring before and the bottom each winter is higher than the winter before, but there are exceptions to that such as after the bubble burst in 2008.

So, as we head into the fall season, we can expect home prices to decline.  The question is, given all that is going on in the economy, including mortgage interest rates in excess of 6%, will the decline be more than the typical “seasonal adjustment”?  To address this, the first thing we can look at is the percentage decline we’ve seen in the recent past from the summer peak to September which is as follows:

  • 2019 – Summer peak to September –10.9%
  • 2020 – Summer peak to September – 0% (no change)
  • 2021 -Summer peak to September –1.9%
  • 2022 -Summer peak to September –10.2%

What this reveals is this years decline, while definitely larger than the last two years, is actually less than the decline in 2019 (which was a good market) so this doesn’t jump out as particularly alarming.  I think it’s worth saying that we are no doubt going to have a market “correction” or “adjustment” at a minimum because home prices could not simply keep increasing like they have been so this years seasonal adjustment may just be a return to normal.  Having said that though, since the “bottom” of the winter market price-wise doesn’t usually come until January or February, we will need to watch the next couple of months to see if this downward price trend remains consistent with historic norms or in fact picks up steam and looks like it’s headed for a bigger decline than normal.  My guess is at this point it the latter.  While I’m not a “gloom and doomer” in fact, I like to think of my self as an opportunist and see opportunities in challenging markets, I just think I’m being realistic.  There are a lot of moving balls in the air right now with regard to our economy and more unknowns than certainties in my opinion.

We can’t underestimate the impact of interest rates either…

St Louis Home Sales Trend Declines In August For the 11th Consecutive Month

The 12-month home sales trend in the St Louis 5-county core market declined in August to 27,840 homes sold in the 5-county area during the prior 12-months, marking the lowest 12-month sales number since September 2020.  As the chart below illustrates, the 12-month home sales trend in St Louis has declined now for 11-months in a row landing just slightly higher than the 12-months sales of 27,573 for September 2020.

The St Louis home sales trend is still higher than any period after August 2006 and prior to September 2020…

At the current level, the St Louis home sales trend is slightly above the trends prior to September 2020 going back to the peak of the bubble in August 2006 when there were 27,974 homes sale in the prior 12-months. However, if it declines further will be in the range of the years 2016 through mid-2020.

St Louis Home Price Trend Outpacing Sales…

The chart below also shows the median price per foot for homes sold during the prior 12-month period.  As it shows, the home price trend has continued to increase while the sales trend has been declining however that changed in June when the price trend started declining.  If you look back t prior years you will see that is earlier than when the normal seasonal adjustment comes so it is likely indicative of the market.

One-Third Of St Louis Homes Listed For Sale Have Reduced The Price

We continue to see more price reductions on listings, or, as some agents prefer to refer to them as “price improvements”, throughout the St Louis area.  As the infographic below depicts, as of today one-third of the active listings in the St Louis 5-County core market have a current asking price that is below their original price.

Nearly One-Third Of St Louis Homes Listed For Sale Have Reduced The Price

Price reductions are quickly showing up more and more on real estate listings in the St Louis area.  As the Infograph below illustrates, 31% of the current active listings in St Louis have had at least one price reduction.  Since the price homes sell at isn’t known until closing and a home sale typically takes 4 to 6 weeks to close, the actual sold prices won’t reflect these price reductions for a while.  For example, in the past 30 days (through today) there have been 2,381 closings of home sales in the 5-county St Louis core market at a median price of 104% of the original list price.  In about a month we’ll revisit that stat and see how things look.

The Coming Recession and Its Potential Affect on St Louis Home Prices

Ever heard the expression “It’s not if, but when..”?  That is something that I’ve heard for a while now about a recession.  With everything that has happened to our economy including rising interest rates, rising inflation, the government printing more and more currency and running up greater debt, it seemed inevitable we would see a recession.  To officially be in a recession, the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) has to fall for two successive quarters.  For the first quarter of this year, GDP declined at an annual rate of 1.6%.  The second quarter GDP numbers won’t be released until later this month (July 28th) however, the GDPNow forecasting model of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta is forecasting a decline of 2.1% in GDP for the 2nd quarter of this year at this point.  If their forecast is correct, we will officially be in a recession.

What happens to St Louis home prices during a recession?

There are many factors at play in every recession that make them unique, such as unemployment rates, interest rates, etc, making it unrealistic to think that home prices are going to behave the same way during every recession, however, I thought it would be worth looking at what happened during the last couple of recessions.

2020 Recession (Q1 and Q2) 

We had a short recession in early 2020 caused primarily by COVID that only lasted the minimum period of two quarters.  During this period, as the chart below shows, St Louis home prices continued to increase at a fairly consistent rate.  In 2019 the median price of a home in the St Louis MSA was $188,575 and in 2020 it was $208,000, an increase of 10.3%.  Then in 2021, the year after the recession, the median St Louis home prices was $227,000, an increase of 9.1% from the year before.

Over One-Fourth of St Louis Homes For Sale Have Reduced Asking Prices

Price reduction, what’s that?  All we seem to have heard about the last couple of years with regard to home prices is how much OVER the list price buyers were having to pay in order to buy a home.  So, to be talking about price reductions today seems odd. However, as the infographic below illustrates, there have been listings with price reductions over the past couple of years, it’s just the current level of them is higher than we have seen in a while.

Will Home Prices Come Crashing Down?

After over 40 years in the real estate business in St Louis I’ve seen many times just how fast a good, or even great housing market can turn sour as well as the other way around.  Two years ago, economic conditions relevant to the housing market included:

Today, the above conditions are:

Does this mean St Louis home prices will come crashing down?
First off, I’m not an economist, in fact I didn’t even attend college and I certainly don’t have a crystal ball showing me the future, but I am a data junkie that has lived through a variety of markets spanning more than 4 decades.  My experience as well as my study of past markets as well as current indicators of things to come certainly give me an opinion.  In times past, my opinions on the market have been spot on, almost to the point that I even surprised myself (such as in October 2006, at the peak of the housing boom when I predicted the collapse) and other times I’ve been wrong, sometimes way wrong.  The reality is that the housing market is affected, or can be affected by so many different economic factors, as well as social issues, consumer sentiment and more that I don’t believe anyone can predict what it’s going to do accurately consistently.

St Louis Home Values Declined In Past 12-Months After Inflation

With the bidding wars we’ve seen on listings resulting in sold prices that exceed the asking price in St Louis over the past couple of years, it’s hard to imagine that home values could be lower today than a year ago.  Now, before you call me crazy, I’m not saying that St Louis homes are SELLING for LESS now than a year ago.  As our STL Market Chart below shows, the median price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-county core market was $254,950 in May 2021 and $270,000 last month, for an increase in sales price of 5.9%.  However, given that, as the chart at the bottom shows, the inflation rate has increased 8.6% during the past 12-months, St Louis home prices have not increased as much as inflation, thereby leaving them worth less today than they were worth a year ago after adjusting for inflation.

Home prices last month would have needed to be $276,829 to keep pace with inflation…

In order to keep pace with inflation and make a median-priced St Louis home worth the same in today’s dollars as it was worth a year ago it would have be worth $276,829 today at the current rate of inflation.

If we look farther back it gets better….

New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Decline Nearly 10 Percent

There were 5,138 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended April 30, 2022, a decrease of 9.69% from the same period a year ago when there were 5,138 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Four of the seven counties covered in the report saw a double-digit decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits -April  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -April  2022

 

St Louis Home Sales Doing Well In Spite of Rising Interest Rates & Inflation

There have been a lot of reports over the past month about rising interest rates (mortgage rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit 5.27% last week) as well as rising inflation rates (8.5% in March) and the effect these things will have on the housing market.  It’s no doubt they will have some affect on home prices and sales and I have been watching the data on St Louis home prices and sales closely and so far there does not appear to be much impact.

St Louis home sales increase in April from March…

There are two ways we analyze home sales at MORE, REALTORS®;  the traditional manner, which is what almost all public reports are based upon, closed sales (which are really indicative of what the market was like 1-2 months previously since that is when the contracts were typically written) and then by use of our STL Real Estate Trends Report, which gives us a better idea of the current activity.  Our trends report shows the number of new contracts written on listings, so current sales activity as well as the number of new listings entering the market.  The good news is, when looking at St Louis home sales activity for April, both closed sales and newly written contracts increased from the month before.

As our chart below shows, there were 2,134 homes sold in St Louis (5-county core market) during April, a 6.4% increase from March when there were 2,005 homes sold.  As the STL Real Estate Trends Report shows, there were 3,279 new contracts written on homes during April in the St Louis 5-county core market, an increase of 5% from the prior month when there were 3,124 contracts written.

How Much Will St Louis Home Prices Be Impacted By Inflation?

Yesterday, I wrote an article addressing the high rate of inflation just reported and its impact on the St Louis housing market. In it, I promised to take a deeper look into the effect of the current events related to the economy on St Louis home prices which I will do in this article.

Before I go further, I should mention I’m not an economist nor a fortune teller.  I am, however, a real estate broker and data nerd that has spent over 40 years in the St Louis real estate industry.  I try my best to use my knowledge and experience to anticipate changes in the market and use this to help our agents and clients use this information to their advantage.

History always repeats itself..

I find the above old adage to be pretty accurate when it comes to the real estate market.  Therefore, in trying to get my head around what impact a high inflation rate may have on home prices, I started by going back to prior periods of high inflation rates.

The first chart below shows the rate of inflation, interest rates, and the St Louis home price index.  I’ve made some notes on it to show prior inflationary periods and the effect on home prices. The first period, the early 80s was much worse than today as inflation was higher and interest rates were in the stratosphere hitting 18%.  The more recent period around 2007-2009 was not as severe and therefore the impact on home prices was not as dramatic as the former either.  As you can see on the far right side of the chart, home prices have increased in the past several months at a sharp rate with the change from a year ago being greater than the last inflationary period but not as great as the one from the early ’80s.

The next chart shows the relationship between home prices and rent.  When home prices outpace rent, home prices decline, when rent outpaces home prices, prices rise.  As the chart shows, these two lines have converged indicating a reasonable balance between home prices and rent.

During the period of 2007 – 2011 home prices fell over 17% during a four year period before finally bottoming out.

Today is different though…

Home Remodeling Projects That Bring You The Best Return On The Cost

Some remodeling projects are done by homeowners that plan to stay in their homes for the foreseeable future and want to get the most enjoyment and functionality out of living there.  These homeowners typically aren’t as concerned, if at all, with getting a monetary return on their investment as their return is the enjoyment of the improvements.  However, other homeowners, particularly those that may only be in their homes a couple of years or so before their next move, tend to focus more on making sure the remodeling they do will bring them a return on their investment to make it worthwhile.  Granted, the return may be less than the cost but, after factoring in the enjoyment from the improvement the improvement may be worth it.

What are the remodeling projects that bring the best returns?  

National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Remodeling Impact ReportAccording to the National Association of REALTORS® 2022 Remodeling Impact Report, below is the cost recovery of the top interior and exterior remodeling projects:

  • Interior
    • Hardwood flooring refinish- Return on cost – 147%
    • New wood flooring – Return on cost – 118%
    • Insulation upgrade – Return on cost – 100%
  • Exterior
    • Roofing – Return on cost – 100%
    • Garage door- Return on cost – 100%

See the complete report (you can download a copy as well) by clicking the photo or HERE.

 

St Louis Home Sales in 2021 Tops Year Before By Nearly 4 Percent – Prices Up Over 9 Percent

As the STL Market Report (available exclusively from MORE, REATLORS®) below illustrates, there were 30,197 homes sold in the St Louis 5-county core market during 2021, an increase of 3.86% from 2020 when there were 29,075 homes sold.  The median sales price of homes sold in the St Louis 5-county core market was $250,000 during 2021, an increase of 9.17% from 2020 when the median price of homes sold in St Louis was $229,000.  The 5-county core St Louis market is comprised of the city and county of St Louis, along with the counties of Jefferson, Franklin, and St Charles. The St Louis core market is responsible for over 7y0% of all homes sold in the 17-county St Louis MSA market.

Housing inventory remains low…

As the last row of the report shows, there is still just a 0.6 month supply of homes for sale in the St Louis 5-county core market and the median time on the market is 64 days.

Inflation Has Largest One-Year Increase In Over 39 Years – Will Home Prices Suffer?

As you’ve probably heard by now, the most recent inflation news was not good.  As the chart below illustrates, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all products in the U.S. (city average) for November 2021 was 303.4, an increase of 6.88% from a year ago when it was 284.1.  This is the highest 12-month increase in inflation we have seen in over 39 years, since June 1982.

What effect will this record-setting increase in inflation have on home prices?

The second chart below depicts the percentage change in the inflation rate from a year ago (the blue line)  as well as the percentage change in the St Louis home price index from a year ago (the red line).  As you look at the chart and reference the marked-up one I have below it, you will see a pattern.  Historically, when inflation rates increase significantly and consistently from a year ago, lower home prices follow.   Will this happen this time as well?  It’s hard to say right now as we still have an incredibly low supply of homes on the market, which tends to fuel higher prices, and we’ll need to see if the rise in inflation is sustained over the next few months.  For the time being, I’ll make the prediction that in 2022 we will see, at a minimum, a flattening of home prices…so maybe not a decline, but a pause on the rate of increase.  Time will tell.

  

St Louis Home Price Appreciation Slowing

Even though you wouldn’t know it by today’s forecasted high in St Louis of 50 degrees, we are entering the winter housing market.  Every year, year after year, the St Louis winter housing market reacts pretty much the same way with home prices dropping a little and sales slowing followed by an uptick in both come spring.  With that in mind, the declines we see in home prices in the chart and report below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, could be attributed to the seasonal change but are a little early for that, and different than last year.

Sold home price per square foot declined for 2nd month in a row in November…

The price per foot a home sells for is a relatively accurate indicator of rising home prices and typically will decline in the winter months as I mentioned above.  However, if you look at the chart below, you will see the red line, which depicts the sold price per square foot of homes sold in the St Louis area, peaked in June at $172/foot, then dropped in July to $171/foot where it stayed though September before dropping to $165 in October and then remaining there in November.  The result was a 4.0% decline in the price per foot of homes sold in St Louis from the peak in June to October.

If you look at the same period last year, you will see the price per foot peaked in July at $152 than stayed at $152 until dropping to $151 in October, then up to $153 in November and back to $152 in December. So, least year, the change from the peak to November was actually a slight increase compared with this year’s decrease of 4.%.

I’m not saying last years price behavior was the norm, I’m just pointing out that this years price activity is different than last year so it may be indicative of a change in the market.

Current listing prices reflect slower price appreciation…

Below the chart is the STL Market Report for November which shows home sales in the St Louis 5-county core market were up nearly 6% for the 12-month period ended November 30th from a. year ago and prices were up over 10% during the same period.  However, if you look down to the second row of the report, you will see the price per foot homes sold at during the most recent 12-month period were sold at a price of $164.70 per foot (and in November as well) and the price per foot of homes currently listed is $168, so an increase of about 2% from the median price in the past 12-months. Granted, many of the current listings will likely sell for more than asking price, but this trend still indicates St Louis home price appreciation is slowing.

St Louis Beating Region On Percentage Of Homes Selling At Full Price Or Above

Last week I published an infographic in an article illustrating that 65% of the homes sold in St Louis sold at or above the list price.  As the infographic below shows, this is a significantly higher percentage than was experienced in the midwest region as a whole where 55% of the homes sold at or above full price.  

The House Payment on a Typical St Louis Home has increased just over 5% in 14 years

Anyone paying even a little attention to the St Louis real estate market will likely be aware of the fact that we have been in a strong seller’s market for the past couple of years and St Louis home prices, as a result, have increased significantly.  In fact, as the infographic below shows (exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®) the median home price for a St Louis home has increased more than 50% in the past 14 years.  However, the good news is that during that same period mortgage interest rates have fallen and remained low resulting an increase in the house payment on a typical home increase just over 5% during the same period!

Over 40% Of The Luxury Homes Sold In St Louis In October Sold At or Above List Price

Yesterday, I shared data showing that two-thirds of the homes sold in the St Louis 5-County core market (St Louis city and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin) during October sold for the asking price or above.   Today, I wanted to focus on just the luxury home market to see how that compared with the overall market.  I included homes that sold for $750,000 or higher in this analysis.

As the infographic below shows (exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®) there were 107 luxury homes sold (3.7% of all homes sold) during October in the St Louis 5-County core market with 41% of them selling at the list price or above.  Drilling down further, we see that 28% of the St Louis Luxury homes sold for greater than the list price.

Two-Thirds Of Homes Sold In St Louis Core Market In October Sold At Or Above List Price

Two-thirds of the homes sold in the St Louis 5-County core market (St Louis city and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin) during October sold for the asking price or above.  As the infographic below shows (exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®) there were 2,888 homes sold during October in the St Louis 5-County core market with 65% of them selling at the list price or above.  One thing to remember about home prices though, and something you won’t hear from too many people reporting prices, is that not all sold prices are the “real” price.

Have St Louis Home Prices Finally Increased Too Much?

For the past few years now, we’ve experienced quite the seller’s market in St Louis fueled, in part, by a low supply of homes for sale.  As a result, St Louis home prices have increased over the past few years at rates close to double the historic norm.  Of late, we’ve heard a lot from people within, and outside of, the real estate industry expressing concern that home prices have gotten too high and even some have made comparisons to 2008 when the housing market saw the bubble burst.  Being the data nerd I am, I’ve tried to keep emotion out of it and instead turn to the data to see if there were indications that perhaps St Louis home prices have increased too much and we are in for a correction.  Up until now, the data has led me to believe that St Louis home prices were ok and can be sustained.  However, based upon current data, I have a little different opinion as I write this.

So what has changed in the data to indicate home prices are too high?

For starters, I haven’t said St Louis home prices are too high yet, I’ve just said that the current data has changed my opinion.  Having said that, prices may in fact reached levels that cannot be sustained and may need a downward correction to put them back in line or they may have just peaked and will remain rather flat for a period of time to allow the market to “catch up” with the prices.  And, of course, data over the next month or two could change for the positive and show we’re not there yet and home prices can still go higher without a problem.  For now, I’m going to say that, based upon the data as well as the normal seasonal adjustments we see this time of year, I’m going to expect to see St Louis home prices to   decline somewhat during the winter months like normal, but then perhaps remain relatively flat come spring rather than increase in the spring like normal. 

My opinion is based upon several pieces of data that, collectively, are indicating a coming adjustment in home prices to me.  I have the charts below that illustrate this point and here’s my recap on them:

Has the St Louis Real Estate Market Peaked?

I’ve written a couple of articles lately addressing the news reports about the housing market cooling down.  As I’ve addressed in those articles, there has not really been much data supporting a significant cooling in the St Louis real estate market.  Additionally, I’ve noted that, due to the seasonality of the housing market, and the fact we are headed toward winter, a cooling of the market would be the seasonal norm.

So today, I decided to pick an easier question to answer, “has the St Louis real estate market peaked?”  The short answer is yes, I believe it has.  This statement, by itself, is not all bad as it would NOT be good for St Louis home prices to continue to increase at the rates they have over the past couple of years.  Not to mention, if we stay in this low-inventory market strongly favoring sellers much longer, many buyers are going to just give up and shelf the idea of buying for a while.

As usual, I’ll let the data speak for itself.  I have several charts and tables below (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®) that I believe support that we have probably seen the St Louis market peak.