St Louis Real Estate Search

How Many Real Estate Agents Are There And How To Fine a Good One?

According to the latest estimates by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), there are approximately 2 million licensed real estate agents in the United States. Last year, according to the NAR, there were a total of 5.341 million existing homes sold which equates to one agent for every 2.67 homes sold during the year in […]

Falling Interest Rates Make St Louis Homes Even More Affordable

Mortgage interest rates have been falling since last Thursday when the referendum passed for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union. As the chart below shows, interest rates on a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage today averaged 3.44%, a new 52-week low and a decline of nearly 3/4 of 1 percent from a year ago when they were 4.20%. […]

Real Estate Recovery "On Its Way"

Tyler Frank,Paramount MortgageNMLS ID 942420

“The (real estate) recovery has been much more like the tortoise than the hare,” said Stephen Blank, a senior resident fellow of the Washington-based Urban Land Institute. “We’ve become used to slow relief. But we have finally turned the corner.”

Real estate markets on both coasts in places […]

One in Five Housing Units in City of St Louis is Vacant

The city of St. Louis has experienced a decline in the number of residents since hitting it’s peak population back around 1950. The most recent disappointment came in the 2010 census results showing, in spite of optimism on the part of the city for better numbers, the population of the city of St Louis had […]

A Look at the Change in Home Ownership by Race from 2000 to 2011

“The American Dream” is a phrase we often apply to home ownership although the historian that made this expression popular, James Truslow Adams, defined it differently in his 1931 book Epic of America. According to Wikipedia, in his book Adams defined “The American Dream” as a better and richer life for every man through social order and not material possessions. Regardless of it’s original definition, home ownership became a part of the American dream in the 20th century and, in spite of the fact that we are on the tail-end of about a five year housing slump, the “American Dream” appears to be hanging on as, according to 2011 Census Data, 66.1 percent of Americans own a home and, while this is no doubt a fairly significant decline from the peak of home ownership around the middle part of the decade, it is down only slightly from 2000 when 66.2 percent owned a home. […]

Cap on Mortgage Interest Deduction Expected Soon

Charlie Cook, of the Cook Report, a well-known and respected political commentator, cautioned REALTORS at their annual national convention to be prepared for changes to the mortgage interest deduction. According to an article in REALTOR magazine, Cook said he did not expect the mortgage interest deduction (MID) to specifically come under attack but that, as Congress looks at cuts to address the deficit, the MID “unlikely to escape unscathed. Cook went on to say that he felt the change would most likely be in the form of a cap, whether it be a dollar amount or a percent allowed for itemized deductions, but one way or another, it was going to change […]

Is there a 3.8 percent house sale tax in the health-care legislation?

In the past few months I have received dozens of emails being forwarded around the internet warning of a new “3.8 percent real estate tax” or “tax on home sale” coming as a result of Obamacare. Given there seem to be many misconceptions out there about this topic I decided to address it this morning. For starters, there is not a 3.8 percent house sale tax in the health care legislation per se. There is, however, a 3.8 percent on unearned income for high-income individuals and couples that could end up being applied to the sale of one’s home. […]

St. Louis home prices falling;  St Louis rents on the rise

A report just released by Trulia today which is based on the for-sale homes and rentals listed on Trulia, shows that asking prices for Saint Louis homes for sale decreased 2.4 percent from a year ago however Saint Louis rental rates increased 3.2 percent during the same period. […]

What to do about a low appraisal?;  St. Louis Mortgage rate update

The sale price for a house is $200,000, but the appraisal comes back at $190,000. Should the borrower still try to purchase this property or just leave it be? This is not unusual circumstance common in today’s real estate market; appraisals are coming in conservatively. What action should the borrower take when there is a mismatch between the seller’s asking price and the home’s appraised value? Remember, the maximum loan amount is based upon the lower of the sale price or the appraised value, whichever is less. […]

Mortgage Delinquencies Fall to Three-Year Low

The percentage of first-lien mortgages that were current and performing at the end of the first quarter of 2012 increased to the highest levels in three years, according to a report published today by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. […]

Should I Rent or Buy a Home?

Lately the $64 question for many people is whether to rent or buy a home. I think by now everyone knows that, as a result of the collapse in home prices and dirt-cheap interest rates, buying a home is now more affordable than ever, but for a lot of people there are still doubts or concerns that need to be addressed before making the decision whether or not to buy. Many of these issues stem around financing including; how much down payment will be necessary, what can I afford, etc. The American’s Banker Association (ABA)came out with five questions every potential buyer should ask when deciding to buy or rent a home that, along with the helpful online calculators they offer, I think may be very helpful: […]

Mortgage delinquencies increase for second-consecutive month

The mortgage delinquency rate (the percentage of home loans 30 or more days past due) increased in May 1.1 percent from the month before according to the latest “First Watch Report” from Lenders Processing Services (LPS). While it’s a modest increase, this marks the second consecutive month we’ve seen an increase in mortgage delinquency […]

Mortgage defaults fall to lowest level in 5 years

According to a report just released by S&P Experian, the first mortgage default rate fell by more than a quarter of a percent (26 basis points) in May compared to April and is the lowest rate since May 2007. The second mortgage rate also fell during the month, by 5 basis points, and is at […]

Looking for a bargain vacation home near the beach?

My family is definitely a beach-loving family! Most of the trips and vacations our family has been on over the years have included beaches and both of our children’s first trips as infants were to the beach. So, I guess it is safe to say our family loves beaches and we are not alone! Even though beach property has suffered during the real estate bust, there seems to always be demand for homes in beach communities. Some areas, like Sarasota, Florida, are already seeing prices increase on homes located on or near the beach. Did you wait too late to buy that second home or vacation home in a beach community? Well, according to a report just released by RealtyTrac, there are still some bargains to be found out there! […]

Despite Home Value Gains, Underwater Homeowners Owe $1.2 Trillion More than Homes’ Worth

But Negative Equity is a Paper Loss for Most, As 90% of Underwater Homeowners Pay Mortgage on Time Nearly one-third (31.4 percent) of U.S. homeowners with mortgages – or 15.7 million – were underwater on their mortgage in the first quarter of 2012, despite rising home values, according to the first quarter Zillow® Negative Equity Report[1]. Collectively, underwater homeowners owed $1.2 trillion more than their homes were worth. Negative equity rose slightly from 31.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and declined from 32.4 percent one year ago. […]

Weather, not jobs, motivating long-distance house hunters

motivation for the move is warmer weather, not a job. Wow, I can relate to that….. In fact, according to the report, most long distance house hunters are looking in markets with higher unemployment and slower job growth than where they currently live. Fro example, as you can see in the chart below, 3 times as many people in Minneaplolis – St Paul (with 6.2 percent unemployment) are looking for homes in Phoenix (where unemployment is 8.5) than vice versa. […]

St Louis home sales outperforms U.S. market in March

Today’s existing home sales report from the National Association of REALTORS® shows U.S. existing home sales in March decreased 2.6 percent from the month before but the Midwest region saw sales activity remain steady coming in at the same rate as the month before. Here in St Louis the story is even better as home sales for the St Louis five-county core (City of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) increased 22.5 percent from the month before and increased 12.4 percent from a year ago. (not seasonally adjusted – see chart below). […]

Vacation home sales hit four-year high

According to a report just released by Homeaway, sales of vacation homes in 2011 reached a four-year high, fueled by the lowest median sales price in eight years, cheap mortgage rates, and the desire for a family retreat. The research found 33 percent of vacation home buyers purchased a vacation property last year primarily because of low real estate prices, while another 30 percent cited the desire for a family retreat. According to data from a National Association of REALTORS survey, the median sales prices for vacation properties at $121,300, putting ownership within greater reach of more consumers. […]

New home construction activity picking up

The U.S. Census Bureau and US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued their report on New Residential Construction for January 2012 showing an increase in single-family home building permits from the month before of 0.9 percent and a 1.0 percent decrease in new home starts compared to the month before. […]

REALTORS tell President Obama his budget proposal will harm housing and homeowners

Today, Moe Veissi, President of the National Association of REALTORS, issued the following statement in response to President Obama’s budget proposal: “As the leading advocate for housing and homeownership, NAR is strongly opposed to elements of President Obama’s budget proposal that would limit itemized deductions, including the mortgage interest deduction, for thousands of families.” […]

Foreclosures in 2011 down 24 percent from 2010

According to a report just released by CoreLogic, there were 830,000 foreclosures completed during the year in 2011, a 24 percent decrease from 2010 when there were 1.1 million. For the month of December, there were 55,000 foreclosures, down 3.5 percent from November when there were 57,000 and down 17.9 percent from December 2010 when there were 67,000 foreclosures completed. […]

Mortgage Delinquences Increase in December but are Down over 25 percent from a year ago

Mortgage delinquencies in December increased to 2.24 percent of all mortgages, a slight increase from the month before when delinquencies were at 2.22 percent but a decrease of over 25 percent from a year ago when the rate was 3.01 percent. The mortgage delinquency rate is something I pay close attention to because it is the “leading indicator” of foreclosures and foreclosures and REO’s are one of the major hurdles to a recovery in the housing market. Declining delinquency rates are our first clue that the housing market is headed to a recovery. […]

New home construction in November inches up;  Curent pace slightly ahead of record-low

The last couple of months I have said that, “unless something changes dramatically, 2011 will hit a new record low of new home starts. Well, the actual numbers this year will still most likely be a record low, but at least the rate of new home starts for November has now inched above the record low New home starts in November were up 2.3 percent from the prior month with the seasonally adjusted annual rate inching its way up to 447,000 homes, just slightly above the all-time low of 445,200 new home starts in 2009. […]

Poll shows housing market second only to jobs in voter influence in 2012

A recent survey by Houselogic.com, a consumer website from the National Association of REALTORS, shows that jobs will be the most important issue for voters in the 2012 election, followed next by housing. Over half the respondents said jobs would be the top issue as they head to the polls next November and almost a third cited the housing market as the most important issue. […]

Clayton Developer Guilty of Fraud in the Development of the East St. Louis Bowman Estates Project

A Clayton developer pled guilty in U.S. District Court on October 27, 2011, for his role in the failed Bowman Estates construction project, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Harold Rosen, age 80, was indicted by a federal grand jury on January 21, 2011, for attempting to obtain more than $1.9 million of public financing under false pretenses. […]

Home sales fall in September; third consecutive month of decline

The National Association of REALTORS Pending Home Sales Index for September shows a decrease of 4.6 percent in the index from the month before (seasonally adjusted), and a 6.4 percent increase from a year ago. This is the third consecutive month the index has decreased from the month before and, and the year over year numbers continue to show decline in the rate of improvement from last year. […]

Housing is cheap and can be an extremely attractive investment opportunity!

Between interest rates falling to record lows and home prices falling back to levels from 8 years ago, the housing market is starting to look like a very attractive investment opportunity. […]

Home sales and prices decline in September

Today’s existing home sales report from the National Association of REALTORS® shows existing home sales in September were at at a seasonally adjusted-annual rate of 4.91 million units which is a decrease of 3.0 percent from the month before, an increase of 11.3 percent from a year ago and is the second highest rate of home sales since March 2011 when it was 5.09 million. […]

Mortgage delinquencies on the rise but down significantly from a year ago

Mortgage delinquencies in September increased to 2.10 percent of all mortgages, a 2.9 percent increase from the month before when delinquencies were at 2.04 percent but a decrease of over 33 percent from a year ago when the rate was 3.14 percent. […]

The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012

Today U.S. News Media Group unveiled The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012 with top locations in 10 key categories that are most often considered as key factors by people when choosing where to retire. St. Louis didn’t make the top of any of the 10 categories, but I’m sure must be on one of the top ten cities within one of the categories. […]