St Louis Area New Home Building Permits Decline In All Counties Except St Charles

During the 12-month period ending February 29, 2024, there were 3,993 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St. Louis area. This figure marks a 4.29% decrease from the previous 12-month period, which saw 4,172 permits issued, as per the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St. Louis HBA). The downturn was observed in all counties except St Charles County, with three of them experiencing double-digit declines.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – February 2024

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - February 2024

 

St Louis New Home Constructions Begins 2024 Down From a Year Ago

In the 12-month period ended January 31, 2024 the St. Louis area saw the issuance of 3,996 building permits for new single-family homes. This represents a decline of 3.64% compared to the previous 12-month period, which had 4,147 permits, according to the latest figures from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St. Louis HBA). This downward trend was noted across all counties with the exception of St. Charles County, with two counties reporting double-digit decreases.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – January 2024

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - January 2024

 

Smaller, Personalized Homes Dominate 2024 Trends: Insights from NAHB Study

The dynamics of the new home market are shifting significantly as we advance into 2024, with a clear trend towards smaller, more personalized living spaces emerging nationwide. This evolution reflects a broader change in homeowner preferences and market conditions, according to the latest “What Home Buyers Really Want” study by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

Recent data points to a decline in the average size of new homes, continuing a trend that began following a brief uptick in 2021. The average new home size has decreased to 2,411 square feet in 2023, marking the smallest average size in over a decade. This reduction aligns with homebuyers’ preferences, which have also shifted towards more compact living spaces. Today, the desired home size is around 2,070 square feet, significantly less than the 2,260 square feet preferred two decades ago.

Rose Quint, NAHB’s assistant vice president of survey research, identifies two main factors driving this trend: a change in homebuyer preferences and the escalating challenge of housing affordability. In response, builders are adapting their strategies, with 38% reporting a shift towards constructing smaller homes in 2023 to facilitate sales, and 26% planning to continue this approach into 2024. Efforts to address affordability concerns have led to reductions in median new home prices to $427,400 in 2023, a 7 percentage point drop from the previous year and the most significant decrease since 2009.

Beyond size, homebuyers are increasingly seeking personalized and authentic living spaces. Donald Ruthroff, AIA, of Design Story Spaces LLC, highlights a growing demand for customization, with homeowners desiring unique features that set their homes apart. This trend towards personalization is evident in the choice of home upgrades, from custom kitchen islands to premium flooring options.

The study also reveals that homebuyers’ priorities have evolved, with a focus on outdoor living, kitchen functionality, and energy efficiency. Top desired features include laundry rooms, patios, Energy Star windows, and smart home technology, such as security cameras and programmable thermostats. Additionally, preferences have expanded to include quartz countertops, outdoor kitchens, and built-in seating, underscoring a shift towards both practicality and luxury in home design.

As we move through 2024, the shift towards smaller, more personalized homes is reshaping the real estate landscape. This trend, driven by changing preferences and affordability challenges, highlights the importance of staying informed about market dynamics for both homebuyers and builders and you’re in the right place now to do that, St Louis Real Estate News.


  

 

Despite High Demand and Low Inventory, St. Louis New Home Permits Hit Nine-Year Low in 2023

In 2023, the St. Louis area saw the issuance of 3,891 building permits for new single-family homes. This represents a decline of 10.78% compared to the previous year, which had 4,361 permits, according to the latest figures from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St. Louis HBA). This downward trend was noted across all counties with the exception of St. Charles County, where five counties reported double-digit decreases. Additionally, Warren County, which had been on a four-month streak of increased permit activity, experienced a slight drop this month. The total of 3,891 permits in 2023 is the lowest the St. Louis area has seen since 2014, when 3,843 permits were issued. Furthermore, this total is nearly 17% below the 20-year average of 4,680 permits annually and 11% below the 20-year median of 4,375 permits.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – December 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)

 

New Single-Family Home Permits Dip by 14.71% in St. Louis Area; Warren County Bucks the Trend

During the 12-month period ending November 30, 2023, there were 3,932 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St. Louis area. This figure marks a 14.71% decrease from the previous 12-month period, which saw 4,515 permits issued, as per the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St. Louis HBA). The downturn was observed in all counties except Warren County, with five of them experiencing double-digit declines. Warren County notably reported an increase in building permits for the fourth consecutive month.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – November 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - November 2023

 

Majority of St. Louis Counties Experience Drop in New Home Building Permits

There were 3,932 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended October 31, 2023.  This represents a decline of 12.60% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,499 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).  Five of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period with 4 of them seeing double digit declines.  Warren County, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in permit activity for the third month in a row.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – October 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - October 2023

 

Nearly All St Louis Counties Continue Downward Trend in New Home Building Permits

There were 3,905 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended September 30, 2023.  This represents a decline of 13.20% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,499 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).  Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period with 4 of them seeing double digit declines.  Warren County, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in permit activity for the second month in a row.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – September 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - September 2023

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits For The Past 12-Months Decline in all Counties Except Warren

There were 3,946 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended August 31, 2023.  This represents a decline of 12.04% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,486 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).  Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period with 4 of them seeing double digit declines.  Warren County, on the other hand, saw a slight increase in permit activity.


  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – August 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - August 2023

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits For The Past 12-Months Decline in all Counties Except Franklin

There were 4,017 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2023.  This represents a decrease of 11.05% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,516 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period, with the City of St Louis and Lincoln County experiencing double-digit declines. 

St Louis New Home Building Permits – June 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - June 2023

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits For The Past 12-Months Declined in all Counties-by double digits in 6

There were 3,820 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended May 31, 2023.  This represents a decrease of 17.28% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,618 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   All seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period, with all but one of them experiencing double-digit declines. 

St Louis New Home Building Permits – May 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - May 2023

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits For The Past 12-Months Declined in all Counties

There were 3,882 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended April 30, 2023.  This represents a decrease of 16.34% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,640 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   All seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period, with all but one of them experiencing double-digit declines.  Also worth noting is this month marked the end to Franklin County’s streak of increased building permits over the prior period which lasted  20 months.

St Louis New Home Building Permits – April 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits For The Past 12-Months Declined in 6 of Seven Counties

There were 3,920 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended March 31, 2023.  This represents a decrease of 16.58% from the prior 12-month period, during which 4,699 permits were issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the previous period, with five of them experiencing double-digit declines.  In contrast, Franklin County saw an increase of over 4%, marking the 20th consecutive month of increases.

St Louis New Home Building Permits – March 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - March 2023

 

St Louis New Home Building Permits in February Fall By Double-Digits From A Year Ago In Four of Seven Counties

There were 4,170 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended February 28, 2023, a decrease of 10.69% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,669 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the same period a year ago with four of them experiencing double-digit declines.  Franklin County, on the other hand, saw an increase of nearly 19%.

St Louis New Home Building Permits – February 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - February 2023

 

New Home Building Permits in January Fall By Double-Digits From A Year Ago In 4 of 7 St Louis Counties

There were 4,147 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended January 31, 2023, a decrease of 13.48% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,793 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decline in building permits from the same period a year ago with four of them experiencing double-digit declines. 

St Louis New Home Building Permits – January 2023

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)St Louis New Home Building Permits - January 2023

 

St Louis Area New Home Building Permits for 2022 at lowest level in seven years

There were 4,361 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during 2022, a decline of 9.62% from 2021 when there were 4,825 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).  As the table below shows, 4 of the 7 counties included in the report had a decline in the number of permits issued in 2022 from the year  before, with there of them double-digit declines.  Lincoln County saw the biggest drop percentage-wise with a decline of 38.27% followed by St Charles County at 21.8%.  All of the increases seen in the 3 remaining counties were single-digit increases with Franklin County the highest with an 8.36% increase.

As the chart below the table illustrates, 2022 saw the lowest number of building permits for new homes issued since 2015 when were there 4,200 issued.

Continue reading “St Louis Area New Home Building Permits for 2022 at lowest level in seven years

New Home Building Permits in St Louis area Decline overall but up in more counties than down

There were 4,515 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended November 30, 2022, a decrease of 6.93% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,851 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 an increase in building permits from the same period a year ago with the largest increase (9.15%) coming in St Louis County.  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – November 2022

(click on table below for page with live charts showing additional permit data)

St Louis New Home Building Permits - November 2022

 

Home Builder Sentiment Falls Every Month During 2022 Reaching Lowest Level Since Beginning of COVID

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) report for December 2022 and, not surprisingly, it shows the builders are continuing to lose confidence in the market.  In fact, builder sentiment has dropped every month during 2022, ending the year at an index value of 31, the lowest seen since the onslaught of COVID-19 in April 2020.

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) / Builder Sentiment Chart

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) / Builder Sentiment Chart

New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Decline Nearly 9 Percent

There were 4,499 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended September 30, 2022, a decrease of 8.89% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,938 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Five of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago with three of the counties have a double digit decline.

St Louis New Home Building Permits -September 2022

New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Decline Over 8 PercentSt Louis New Home Building Permits -September 2022

 

Builders’ Housing Affordability Index Drops To Lowest Level Since Inception

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo, jointly publish quarterly their Housing Opportunity Index (HOI) which shows the affordability, or lack thereof, of homes to a typical family.  To arrive at an index value the median home price of recently sold homes for an area is taken into account as well as the median income for a family in that area.  From this data the index is computed to show how affordable the typical home is to a typical family.  The higher the index, the more affordable homes are to buyers in that market and the lower the index the less affordable.

For the 3rd quarter of 2022, the HOI index hit the lowest level (meaning homes were less affordable) since the inception of the HOI in 2012.  As the chart below shows, the current Housing Opportunity Index for the U.S. is at 42.2% meaning just over 40% of families can afford to buy a home in their area. This is down slightly from 2nd quarter but down quite a bit from the first quarter of this year when it was 56.9%.

Affordability in St Louis is much better…

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index is also produced for metro-areas.  For the third quarter of this year, St Louis had a HOI index of 74.8, over 30 points better than the national index!  This means a typical home in St Louis is affordable to about 30% more of St Louis families with a typical income than on the national level.

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI)

(click on chart for current, live, interactive chart)

NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index (HOI)

 

Home Builder Sentiment Falls For 10th Month In A Row

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released their NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) report for October 2022 and, not surprisingly, it shows the builders are continuing to lose confidence in the market.  As our chart below shows, the Housing Market Index (HMI), the red line, peaked in November 2020 at 90 and has, with the exception of a few minor upticks along the way, fallen ever since reaching 38, the lowest level since August 2012 when it fell to 37.

Single Family Housing Starts and HMI Index 1985-2022 (NAHB)

Single Family Housing Starts and HMI Index 1985-2022 (NAHB)

St Louis New Home Activity Continues To Decline

There were 4,486* building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended August 31, 2022, a decrease of 8.93% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,926 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Six of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago with four of the counties haveing a double digit decline.  

*The city of St Louis did not report building permit data for August 2022.  Last year there were 54 permits issued in August, if we assume the same number for this year, the City of St Louis would of had an increase of 5.6% for the period, and the overall drop in building permits for the St Louis area would have been 7.8% rather than the 8.93% shown…

St Louis New Home Building Permits -Aug  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -Aug  2022

 

New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Decline Over 8 Percent

There were 4,600 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended July 31, 2022, a decrease of 8.06% from the same period a year ago when there were 5,003 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Five of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago with three of the counties have a double digit decline.

St Louis New Home Building Permits -July  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -July  2022

 

Number Of New Homes Built In St Louis In Last 14 Years Less Than Half The Number For the Prior 14 Years

During the 14 year period prior to the housing bubble bursting in 2008, there were 92,065 building permits issued for new single family homes in the 3 most active home building counties in St Louis.  As the table shows below, over half the permits issued during that period were in St Charles County alone, with the other half in the counties of St Louis and Jefferson.

Needless to say, when the housing bubble burst in 2008 and the market collapsed, new home construction came to a screeching halt.  However, after about 5 years, the market quickly regained lost ground and for the past several years it seems home builders couldn’t build homes fast enough.  We’ve had a low inventory of homes for sale for so long it’s starting to seem normal.  But still, over 14 years have passed since the bubble burst and we are still way behind on new home construction.  In the 14-year period after the bubble burst, there have been 40.528 building permits issued for new single family homes in the St Louis area counties mentioned above, a decline of nearly 56% from the prior 14-year period.

St Louis New Home Building Permits -1994 through 2007 and 2008 through 2021

St Louis New Home Building Permits -1994 through 2007 and 2008 through 2021

 

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

There were 4,516 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended June 30, 2022, a decrease of 12.05% from the same period a year ago when there were 5,135 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri (St Louis HBA).   Five of the seven counties covered in the report saw a decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago with three of the counties have a double digit decline.

St Louis New Home Building Permits -June  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -June  2022

 

Supply of New Homes For Sale Reaches Highest Level In Over 12 Years

According to the latest data from HUD and the US Census Bureau, there is a 9.3 month supply of new homes for sale in the U.S. as of June, 2022.  As the chart below illustrates, this is the largest supply of new homes for sale since May 2010 when there was also a 9.3 month supply.  It wasn’t that long ago, August 2020 to be exact, when the supply hit a record low level of 3.3 months.

St Louis New Home Supply is a little lower…

It’s a little hard to pinpoint the new home supply in St Louis for several reasons.  One, not all new homes that are for sale are listed in the MLS and then the MLS allows new homes to be listed in two categories, both new construction and normal residential, so that can skew the data as well.  Nonetheless, we do the best we can to sort through the data.  As our table at the bottom shows, there is currently a little over a 7-month supply of new homes for sale in St Louis, so still higher than a historical “norm” but about 2-months less than at the national level.

Continue reading “Supply of New Homes For Sale Reaches Highest Level In Over 12 Years

Inventory of New Homes In The U.S. Hits Highest level since 2010

Given the low-inventory of homes for sale that has existed for some time now, it may be hard to believe my next statement, but the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau and HUD show that there is currently a 9-month supply of newly constructed homes in the U.S. As the chart below illustrates, this is the highest level the supply of new homes in the U.S. has reached since May 2010 when there was a 9.3 month supply.

The months supply of depicted below is calculated as the ratio of new homes for sale to the number of new homes sold.  The resulting number represents the number of months it would take for the current new home inventory that is for sale to be depleted given the current sales rate if no new additional new homes were built.

Months Supply of New Homes In The U.S.

(click chart for live, interactive chart)

Months Supply of New Homes In The U.S.

Home Builders Losing Confidence In The Housing Market

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) in conjunction with Wells Fargo publishes their House Market Index (HMI) monthly which reveals the sentiment of home builders about the market.  In the report released yesterday, the HMI fell 8 points to 69, marking the fifth month in a row that builder sentiment as declined and becoming the lowest level for builder sentiment since June 2020.

It may not be all that bad though…

As it true with most data, it’s all relative. With this in mind, this may be the 5th straight month that builder sentiment has fallen however, as the chart below illustrates at a level of 69 builder sentiment is still at a level that is historically high.  Since the inception of the HMI in January of 1985 the median value of the index is 56 so at 69 we’re still well above the overall median.  In the last 10 years, the median of the HMI Index has been 63 so the current level is also above that.

NAHB House Market Index (HMI)

NAHB House Market Index (HMI)

 

New Home Building Permits In St Louis For Most Recent 12-Months Continue Downward Trend

There were 4,699 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended March 31, 2022, a decrease of 6.86% from the same period a year ago when there were 5,045 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 -March  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -March  2022

 

New Home Building Permits Decline Nearly 6 Percent In St Louis In Past 12-Months

There were 4,669 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended February 28, 2022, a decrease of 5.8% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,956 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 -February  2022

St Louis New Home Building Permits -February  2022

 

New Home Building Permits Decline In St Louis In Past 12-Months

There were 4,743 building permits issued for new single-family homes in the St Louis area during the 12-month period ended January 31, 2022, a decrease of 2.5% from the same period a year ago when there were 4,864 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 decrease in building permits from the same period a year ago.  Warren, Lincoln, and St Charles County had a double-digit decrease.

St Louis New Home Building Permits -January  2022