Foreclosure Activity Increases in February But Down 12 Percent From Year Ago

The foreclosure rate for the St Louis MSA during February increased 22.55 percent from the prior month but declined 12.0% from February 2019, according to data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions.  As the table below shows, only 3 counties in the St Louis metro area saw a decline in foreclosure activity in February from the month before but 10 of the 15 counties reported saw a decline in foreclosure activity from a year ago.  

Three counties, Madison in Illinois and St Louis and Lincoln in Missouri, saw a decline in foreclosure activity from both the month before as well as the year before.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosures – February 2020

St Louis MSA Foreclosures - February 2020

St Louis County Judge Issues Order Stopping Evictions

Yesterday, Michael D. Burton, Presiding Judge of the Circuity Court of St Louis County, signed an order that, until further notice, directed the St Louis County Sheriff’s office to “refrain from executing any writs of restitution (eviction of a tenant), writs of replevin, writs of attachment, writs of partition and any other writs of execution that require them to come into direct contact with the general public..”.  In addition, putting a stop to evictions of tenants in St Louis County this order stops the additional actions listed as well but preventing evictions is probably the most significant part of the order.

HUD, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac Suspend Foreclosures for at least 60 days

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as well as the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) (which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), directed their loan servicers to suspect foreclosures and evictions for at least 60 days to help those people affected.

In a statement, Mark Calabria, the Director of the FHFA, said that borrowers affected by the coronavirus who are having difficulty paying their mortgages should reach out to the mortgage servicers as soon as possible.

HUD Secretary Ben Carson said that “The halting of all foreclosure actions and evictions for the next 60 days will provide homeowners with some peace of mind during these trying times,”

St Louis House Flips Increase In 4th Quarter of 2019

There were 737 homes “flipped” in the St Louis metro area during the fourth quarter of 2019, or 7.2% of the total number of homes sold in the St Louis metro area during the quarter, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Solutions.  This is an increase of 9% from the prior quarter and is a decrease of 6% from a year ago.  The median gross profit was 64.450 a 71% gross ROI and a significant increase from a year ago when the Gross ROI was 54.1%.

Definition of a  “flipped” home…

For the purposes of this report, a flipped home is considered to be any home or condo that was sold during the first quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

  

St Louis House Flipping – 4th Quarter 2019

St Louis House Flipping - 4th Quarter 2019© 2019 – St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

Distressed Home Sales In St Louis MSA Fall Nearly 25 Percent In Past 12 Months

Thanks to a booming economy and strong housing market, distressed home sales in the St Louis Metro Area declined by nearly 25 percent (23.42%) in the 12-month period ended January 31, 2020 from the prior 12-month period. As our exclusive, STL Market Report below shows, there were 1,887 distressed home sales (foreclosures, REO’s and short sales)in the most recent 12-month period compared with 2,464 in the prior 12-month period.  The median home price of the distressed homes sold declined 1.79% during the same period, from a median price of $56,000 in the prior period to $55,000 in the most recent period.

  

Distressed Home Sales  St Louis MSA

(Foreclosures-REO’s-Short Sales) – Past 12 Months vs Prior 12 Months

(click on table for current report)

Distressed Home Sales  St Louis MSA 

Bernie’s Plan For Housing Likely To Negatively Impact Investors

Let me begin with this is not a political statement and the purpose of this site is not about politics but about real estate.  Having said that, this morning I came across the plans for the housing market that Bernie Sanders is proposing if he is elected President which I had not seen before.  Upon reviewing his plan (it is on his official site) I realized that while many of the components of it sound good (like “End homelessness and ensure fair housing for all”) many of his promises in this area sound like things that would negatively impact investors and the housing market as a whole.

The following are the Key Points to the Bernie Sanders housing plan from his website (I have included the complete list):

  • End the housing crisis by investing $2.5 trillion to build nearly 10 million permanently affordable housing units.
  • Protect tenants by implementing a national rent control standard, a “just-cause” requirement for evictions, and ensuring the right to counsel in housing disputes.
  • Make rent affordable by making Section 8 vouchers available to all eligible families without a waitlist and strengthening the Fair Housing Act.
  • Combat gentrification, exclusionary zoning, segregation, and speculation.
  • End homelessness and ensure fair housing for all
  • Revitalize public housing by investing $70 billion to repair, decarbonize, and build new public housing.

Under the “When Bernie is president, he will” section are some of the things he plans to do to accomplish the above goals (this list is rather extensive on his site so I have only included a sampling of the items that appear will negatively impact investors and homeowners):

  • Enact a national cap on annual rent increases at no more than 3 percent or 1.5 times the Consumer Price Index (whichever is higher) to help prevent the exploitation of tenants at the hands of private landlords.
  • Allow states and cities to pass even stronger rent control standards.
  • Implement a “just-cause” requirement for evictions, which would allow a landlord to evict a tenant only for specific violations and prevent landlords from evicting tenants for arbitrary or retaliatory reasons.
  • Place a 25 percent House Flipping tax on speculators who sell a non-owner-occupied property, if sold for more than it was purchased within 5 years of purchase.
  • Impose a 2 percent Empty Homes tax on the property value of vacant, owned homes to bring more units into the market and curb the use of housing as speculative investment.

Again, this is not a political piece, but given the strong housing market we have enjoyed over the past several years, which has helped many Americans build equity and recover wealth lost during the housing bubble burst of 2008, I think it’s worth noting proposed plans, by any party or power, that could negatively impact the market. Also, these are just talking points from someone running for office, so whether it’s Bernie Sanders or any other candidate, or even the current President, Donald J. Trump, they can all have ideas but getting them implemented takes cooperation of Congress and that is not always so easy so it doesn’t mean any of their plans ever actually come to fruition.

 

 

Why I’m Bullish On Real Estate For 2020

As you may have noticed, I’ve been pretty optimistic about the outlook for the real estate market this year however, that is not always the case as I call it like I see it.  The reason for my optimism is based upon what a true data geek like myself would base it upon, data!  So, what’s the data that has me believing 2020 will be a good year for the housing market in St Louis and beyond?  Several things:

  • As I have been reporting here for the past couple of years now, mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates have continued to decline which show the strength of the economy as a whole as well as the housing industry.
  • As the US Economic Indicators charts below show, since peaking around 2010, the unemployment rate, 30-year mortgage rate and mortgage delinquency rates have all steadily declines to either record lows or at least the lowest rate in recent history.
  • As the St Louis unemployment, home prices and rent chart below shows, unemployment in St Louis has fallen to the lowest level in decades and the relationship between home prices and rents show home prices lagging behind rents indicating that we’ll likely see continued, good housing appreciation rates.
  • As the 30-year fixed rate mortgage chart below shows, mortgage rates are at near record low rates giving buyers much more buying power.  In my market update video I shared here a day or two ago I illustrate just how much more buying power this translates into.
  • As I reported last week, St Louis home sales last year managed to top the prior year slightly, in spite of the low-inventory market we have been stuck in.  This shows the demand that is out there.
  • As I reported earlier this week, the home sales trend for 2020 in St Louis is in positive territory has well.

St Louis Underwater Homeowners Falls To Lowest Percentage In Over 6 Years

During the fourth quarter of 2019, 10.2% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage, were underwater on their mortgage, meaning they were in a negative-equity position, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below shows, this is the lowest level of St Louis homeowners that are seriously underwater since 2013 when this data was first tracked.  This continues the trend that began in the price quarter with the then lowest rate at 10.5%.

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners

(Click on table for live, complete data from 2013-Present)
St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners

In 2019 St Louis Had The 8th Highest Foreclosure Rate of The 20 Largest MSA’s

Foreclosure rates and mortgage delinquency rates have steadily declined over the past couple of years as the housing market, as well as the overall economy, have both continued to improve and thrive.  Nonetheless, foreclosures still take place and during 2019 the St Louis MSA had the 8th highest foreclosure rate of the 20 largest MSAs, according to the latest data released by Attom Data Solutions.

As the table below shows, during 2019, in the St Louis MSA there was 1 foreclosure action for every 232 housing units.  Philadelphia, PA, had the highest foreclosure rate of the 20-largest MSAs with one foreclosure action for every 133 housing units and San Francisco had the lowest with one foreclosure action for every 631 housing units.

  

2019 Foreclosure Rates – 20 Largest MSAs

2019 Foreclosure Rates – 20 Largest MSAs

Copyright 2020 – St Louis Real Estate News – All rights reserved – Data Source ATTOM Data Solutions

The Foreclosure Rate in the St Louis Metro Area Falls Again In November

The foreclosure rate for the St Louis MSA during October decreased 6.0 percent from the month and was down 4.2% from November  2018, according to data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions.  As the table below shows, there were, like last month, some mixed results.  For example, St Charles County saw a 20% increase in foreclosures from the month before while the City of St Louis saw a 27% decrease from the month before.  The U.S. as a whole saw a bigger decline in foreclosure activity than the St Louis MSA did.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosures – November 2019

St Louis MSA Foreclosures - November 2019

St Louis House Flips Continue To Decline

There were 762 homes “flipped” in the St Louis metro area during the third quarter of 2019, or 6.3% of the total number of homes sold in the St Louis metro area during the quarter, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Solutions.  This is a decline of 15% from the prior quarter as well as a 5% decrease from the prior year.  As our table below shows, on a national level, house flipping accounted for just 5.4% of the homes sold during the 3rd quarter of this year, which is a 9% decrease from the quarter before and a 4% increase from a year ago.

Definition of a  “flipped” home…

For the purposes of this report, a flipped home is considered to be any home or condo that was sold during the first quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

  

St Louis House Flipping – 3rd Quarter 2019

St Louis House Flipping - 3rd Quarter 2019© 2019 – St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

Foreclosures Spike In October In Some St Louis Areas

The foreclosure rate for the St Louis MSA during October increased 11.3 percent from the month before however, it was still nearly 25 percent (24.5%) lower than October 2018, according to data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions.  As the table below shows, there were some real mixed results this month.  For example, St Charles County saw a 150% increase in foreclosures from the month before increasing from 10 in September to 25 in October but is down over 60% from October 2018.  The city of St Louis is the only county of significant size in the St Louis MSA that saw both an increase in foreclosures from the month before (65.8^) as well as an increase from a year ago (43.2%).

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosures – October 2019

St Louis MSA Foreclosures - October 2019

The Percentage Of Underwater Homeowners In St Louis Drops To Lowest Level In Six Years

During the third quarter of 2019, 10.5% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage, were underwater on their mortgage, meaning they were in a negative-equity position, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below shows, this is the lowest level of St Louis homeowners that are seriously underwater since 2013 when this data was first tracked.

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners – 2013-2019

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners - 2013-2019

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates Hit Highest Level In Over Three Years

The St Louis MSA rental vacancy rate during the 3rd quarter of this year was 10.6%, an increase from 7.6% the prior quarter and the highest rate since the 1st quarter of 2016 when the rate was 12.2%, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Last year, the median rental vacancy rate for the St Louis MSA for the year was 6.8%, a 13 year low.


  

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates – 2016 – Present

(click on table for complete data from 2005 – present)St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates - 2016 - Present

 

St Louis Foreclosures Decline In Third Quarter Over 27 Percent From Year Ago

The St Louis foreclosure rate during the 3rd quarter of this year was 1 in every 766 housing units, a decline of nearly 1% from the prior quarter and a decline of over 27% from a year ago, according to data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions.  As the table below shows, 6 of the counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in the foreclosure rate during the 3rd quarter from the prior quarter and only two counties saw an increase from a year ago.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosures – 3rd Quarter 2019

St Louis MSA Foreclosures - 3rd Quarter 2019

St Louis Foreclosure Rate Drops In August – Down Nearly One Third From Year Ago

During August there was one foreclosure action for every 2,040 housing units in the St Louis MSA, a decline of 6.43% from the month before and a decline of 32.78% from a year ago, according to data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions.  As the table below shows, only 4 of the counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in the foreclosure rate for August 2019 from the month before, but all counties saw a decline from August 2018.

  

St Louis Foreclosure Rate Drops By Double Digits

The rate of foreclosure in St Louis during the 2nd quarter of this year was 1 foreclosure filing for every 759 housing units, a decrease of 15.68% from the prior quarter and a decline of 18.54% from the 2nd quarter of 2018, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  St Louis has the 73rd highest foreclosure rate of the 220 MSA’s ranked in the report.

As the table below shows, only three counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in foreclosure activity this quarter from the prior quarter and, with the exception of Lincoln County, none saw an increase from a year ago.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County – 2nd Quarter 2019

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -©2019 St Louis Real Estate News – All Rights Reserved

St Louis Foreclosures Rise In May But Still Down Nearly 20 Percent From Year Ago

The rate of foreclosure in St Louis in May was 1 foreclosure filing for every 2,013 housing units, an increase of 7.7% from the month before but a decline of 18.8% from May 2018, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.

As the table below shows, six counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in foreclosure activity in May from the month before however, all the counties in the St Louis MSA except 3, saw a decline from a year ago.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County – May 2019

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -©2019 St Louis Real Estate News – All Rights Reserved

Proposed St Louis County Ordinance Would Require Landlords To Accept Section 8

A bill introduced by St Louis County Councilmember Lisa Clancy would require landlords in unincorporated St Louis County to participate in the Section 8 program as well as pretty much any other rental subsidy program.  St Louis County bill number 102 (see complete bill at bottom of article), introduced by Councilmember Clancy, if passed, would amend the existing St Louis County “Fair Housing Code” ordinance adding “lawful source of income” to the list of things that a landlord cannot discriminate based upon.

The St Louis County Fair Housing Ordinance (section 717.020) currently makes it unlawful for landlords to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or familial status.  Currently included in the protected classes under St Louis County law, which are not included in the Federal Fair Housing Act, are “sexual orientation” and “gender identity”.  In addition, St Louis County has “gender” as a class instead of “sex” as is in the Federal Fair Housing Act.  If St Louis County Council bill 102 passes and becomes an ordinance, then “lawful source of income” will be an additional protected class and will be another one that is not in the Federal Fair Housing Act.

There are other municipalities, counties, and states around the country that have passed similar legislation as well. As to be expected, legislation like this has been met with a mixed response.  

Is it discriminatory for a landlord to refuse to accept Section 8, Vouchers and the like? Continue reading “Proposed St Louis County Ordinance Would Require Landlords To Accept Section 8

Flipped Homes in St Louis Down From Year Ago

There were 528 homes “flipped” in the St Louis metro area during the first quarter of 2019, which equated to 7.7% of the total number of homes sold in the St Louis metro area during the quarter, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  This is down 14% from the 1st quarter of 2018 but does reflect a 3% increase from the prior quarter.  As our table below shows, on a national level, house flipping accounted for 7.2% of the homes sold during the 1st quarter of this year, which is a 23% increase from the quarter before and an 8% increase from a year ago.

Definition of a  “flipped” home…

For the purposes of this report, a flipped home is considered to be any home or condo that was sold during the first quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

  

St Louis House Flipping – 1st Quarter 2019

St Louis House Flipping - 1st Quarter 2019

Foreclosure Rate In St Louis Continues To Fall As Market Remains Strong

The strong St Louis housing market, as well as the strong economy, continues to help improve mortgage delinquency rates and foreclosure rates in St Louis. The rate of foreclosure in St Louis in April was 1 foreclosure filing for every 2,167 housing units, a decline of 17.4% from the month before when the rate was 1 in every 1,865 housing units, according to the latest data from ATTOM Data Solutions.  The April St Louis foreclosure rate was down 17.9% from the year before.

As the table below shows, over half the counties in the St Louis MSA saw an increase in foreclosure activity in April from the month before, all in the double-digits, however, with the exception of the city of St Louis, all of the larger counties saw a decline from the month before.

  

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County – April 2019

St Louis MSA Foreclosure Rate By County - April 2019

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -©2019 St Louis Real Estate News – All Rights Reserved

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rate Rises For First Time In A Year

The St Louis MSA rental vacancy rate during the 1st quarter of this year was 8.1%, an increase from 6.6% the prior quarter, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Given that for 2018 the median rental vacancy rate of 6.8% in the St Louis MSA was a 13 year low, it’s not surprising we may see an uptick in vacancies.

As the table below shows, the rental vacancy rate for the St Louis MSA for the first quarter of 2018 was 9.6% and then fell to 5.6% during the 2nd quarter so perhaps we’ll see a repeat of that this year as well but time will tell.

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates – 2016 – Present

(click on table for complete data from 2005 – present)

 

The Number Of Underwater Homeowners In St Louis Increases Slightly

During the first quarter of 2019, 14.5% of the homeowners in St Louis with a mortgage, were underwater on their mortgage, meaning they were in a negative-equity position, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below shows, this slight increase follows a decline in the rate for the two prior quarters.  The St Louis negative-equity rate is about one and a half times that for the U.S. as a whole.

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners – 2013-2019

St Louis Underwater (Negative-Equity) Homeowners - 2013-2019

St Louis Foreclosure Rate Is Seventh Highest of 20 Largest Metros

During the first quarter of this year, there were foreclosure filings on 1,948 properties in the St. Louis MSA, which equates to 1 foreclosure filing for every 51 housing units, according to the latest data from ATTOM Data Research.  As the table below, which shows data for the 20-largest metro areas in the U.S., shows, this foreclosure rate puts St Louis at number 7 on the list in terms of foreclosure rate.

  

1st Quarter 2019 – Foreclosure Filings – 20 Largest MSA’s

1st Quarter 2019 - Foreclosure Filings - 20 Largest MSA's

Data Source: ATTOM Data Solutions -© 2019 St Louis Real Estate News

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rate In 2018 Hits Lowest Level In Over 13 Years

The median rental vacancy rate for the St Louis metro area during 2018 was 6.8%, according to data recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  This rate marks the lowest annual median rental vacancy rate for St Louis since the U.S. Census Bureau’s reports which began in 2005.

As the table below shows, the vacancy rate for the 4th quarter of 2018 was 6.6%, down from 6.9% the quarter before and down from 9.2% a year ago.

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates

St Louis Rental Vacancy Rates

 

Number Of St Louis Home Flips Declines in 2018 From Year Before

There were 3,143 home “flips” in the St Louis metro area during 2018, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research.  With 7.4% of homes sold in St Louis being a flip in 2018, this is a decline of 3.7% from a year ago.  The peak number of flips in St Louis came in 2005 when there were 4,426 homes flipped.

What is meant by “flipped” home?

ATTOM Data considers any home or condo that was sold during the third quarter of this year in an arms-length sale that had previously had an arms-length sale within the prior 12 months as well as a “flip”.  Since homeowners don’t tend to buy a home only to turn around and resell it within a year, when this does occur it is typically the result of an investor buying a property, renovating it, then reselling it.

  

St Louis House Flips 2018

St Louis House Flips 2018

St Louis House Flips Average Gross Profit

St Louis House Flips Average Gross Profit

 

 

 

Jefferson County Had The Highest Foreclosure Filing Per Capita Rate Of Larger Missouri Counties in 2018

Jefferson County, with an estimated population of 221,577 during 2018, had 317 foreclosure filings during 2018, giving it the highest rate of foreclosure filings per capita, at 1 foreclosure filing for every 699 in population, of the all the Missouri counties with a population of 50,000 or greater.  As the table below shows, the three Missouri counties with the highest foreclosure rate per capita are all located within the St Louis MSA and Boone County, in the Columia MSA, has the lowest foreclosure rate in the State.

  

 

2018 Missouri Foreclosure Rates By County

2018 Missouri Foreclosure Rates By County

Copyright© 2019 – St Louis Real Estate News – All Rights Reserved – Data Source ATTOM Data Solutions

St Louis MSA Has 8th Highest Foreclosure Rate Among Largest Metro Areas

Yesterday, I wrote an article about the number of foreclosures in St Louis during 2018 dropping to the lowest number in over 12 years, however, in spite of that good news, St Louis still has the 8th highest rate of foreclosure among the 20 largest metro areas in the U.S.

According to data just released by ATTOM Data Research, as the table below shows, during 2018 St Louis had a foreclosure filing for 1 of every 180 housing units.  This rate puts St Louis at the 65th highest rate of the 219 MSA’s in the U.S. with a population of over 200,000 and at the 8th highest rate of the 20 largest MSA’s.  Worth noting is St Louis barely made the list of 20 largest MSA’s coming in at 19th largest based upon population.

  

Number Of Foreclosures in St Louis During 2018 Drops To Lowest Number In Over 12 Years

As evidence of just how much the St Louis housing market has improved since the housing bubble burst a little over a decade ago, as well as a testimony as to the strength of our economy, the number of St Lous homeowners that lost their homes to foreclosure last year dropped to the lowest level in over 12 years.

As the tables below show, during 2018, 6,882 homeowners in the St Louis metro area received a notice of a foreclosure filing from their lender on their property, a decline of 6% from the prior year when 7,323 homeowners received a foreclosing filing notice.   The number of foreclosure filings in St Loius during 2018 was down 68.3% from 2010 when the number of foreclosures in St Louis hit a record high with 21,741 homeowners receiving a foreclosure filing notice.

  

Mortgage Delinquency Rates Continue to Improve-St Louis Distressed Home Sales Falling

Mortgage delinquency rates, the precursor to foreclosures, continue to fall as the real estate market continues to perform well.  The 30-plus day mortgage delinquency rate for June 2018 fell to 4.3% of all outstanding mortgages down from 4.6% a year ago, according to a report just released by CoreLogic.  Frank Nothaft, the Chief Economist for CoreLogic, attributed the good news to “A solid labor market” going on to say that June’s national unemployment rate of 4% was “the lowest for June in 18 years“.

St Louis distressed home sales falling quickly…

With the economy and real estate market doing so well, distressed home sales (short-sales and foreclosures) continue to decline.  As our chart below shows, the 12-month trend line for distressed home sales in the 5-County core St Louis market (city of St Louis and the counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson, and Franklin)  fell to 1,137 sales for the 12-month period ending August 2018.  This is a decline of 30% in distressed home sales in St Louis, from a year ago when there were 1,632 distressed home sales during the prior 12-month period.

  

St Louis Distressed Home Sales -12 Month Trend – Past 24 Months

(Click on chart for live chart)

St Louis Distressed Home Sales -12 Month Trend - Past 24 Months