St. Louis Area Residential Real Estate Market Report For March 2024

The St. Louis MSA residential real estate market is experiencing a phase of transformation. While the sales volume has seen a downturn, median sale prices have held steady, indicating a resilient market underpinned by solid demand.  The complete STL Market Reports for the entire metro area as a whole, as well as the major counties, are available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS® and are below.

Key Findings:

  • Sales Volume Decline: The St. Louis MSA experienced a 9.30% decrease in the number of homes sold during the 12-month period ending March 31, 2024, compared to the previous year.
  • Median Sold Price Growth: Despite decreased sales, median sold prices rose by 2.40% from $248,000 to $253,950 during the same period.
  • Price Per Square Foot (PPSF):  The PPSF of current listings is 3.74% than the PPSF of homes that sold during the prior 12-months. This suggests an adjustment in the market with current listings being priced lower than what was sold in the past year.
  • Inventory and Supply:  There is currently a 1.07 months supply of homes for sale, indicating a tight inventory reflective of a seller’s market.
  • Median days on the market: The median time on the market of current listings is just 22 days, showing homes are selling relatively quickly.

County Highlights:

  • St. Louis City and St Louis County:
    • A decrease of -5.14% in homes sold year-over-year.
    • A reduction in median sold price by -1.21%.
    • A significant drop in PPSF for current listings by -15.93% compared to the last 12 months.
  • St. Charles County:
    • The number of homes sold dropped by -14.64%.
    • Median sold prices increased by 5.97%.
    • PPSF for current listings increased by 12.61%, signaling strong market growth.
  • Franklin County:
    • A decrease of -9.72% in homes sold year-over-year.
    • Median sold prices increased by 9.09%.
    • PPSF for current listings rose by 8.86%.
  • Jefferson County:
    • The number of homes sold decreased by -16.63%.
    • An increase in median sold prices by 4.02%.
    • A substantial increase in PPSF for current listings by 12.63%.

Market Implications:

The St. Louis MSA real estate market is currently defined by a decrease in the number of homes sold but a general uptrend in prices. The PPSF analysis reveals a market correction, yet the trend suggests prices might increase shortly.

  • For Sellers: The current market presents an opportunity due to low inventory levels and a consequent seller’s market, indicated by the low months’ supply.
  • For Buyers:  The decreased competition and market adjustment could benefit buyers, yet they should be mindful of the resilient pricing trends.

The real estate landscape in the St. Louis metro requires careful navigation, with sellers possibly leveraging the low supply and buyers staying cautious of the potential for increasing prices. Stay informed with St. Louis Real Estate News for ongoing analysis and insights into local market trends.

Continue reading “St. Louis Area Residential Real Estate Market Report For March 2024

St. Louis Metro Real Estate Market: Interpreting the Current Trends

The St. Louis Metro residential real estate market in 2024 is showcasing diverse trends, indicating an evolving landscape for buyers, sellers, and industry professionals. The latest data, detailed in the STL Market Report exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, offers a snapshot of these dynamics.

Contrasting Sales Trends:

  • There’s a notable decrease in home sales volume by 16.11% in the past year, with figures declining from 38,173 to 32,022 homes sold.

Home Value Resilience:

  • Despite the lower sales volume, median sold prices in the metro area nudged upward by 2.44%, moving from $246,000 to $252,000 year-over-year.

Price Per Square Foot (PPSF) Analysis:

  • The average PPSF for homes sold over the last 12 months stands at $173.85. Listings this month are somewhat lower at $163.46 PPSF.
  • Active listings for the month are quoted at a PPSF of $165.00, indicating a tentative increase in asking prices.

Signs of Market Adjustment:

  • A reduction in PPSF by 5.09% for current listings compared to the PPSF of homes sold in the past year hints at a market adjustment.
  • The current price trend arrow points upwards, suggesting that prices might be starting to rise again despite the recent cooling off.

Inventory and Supply Dynamics:

  • With 2,498 listings currently for sale and 2,051 homes sold last month, inventory levels are tight.
  • The months’ supply of inventory is low at 1.22, indicative of a seller’s market.
  • Homes are selling relatively swiftly, with the median number of days on the market being 27.

The St. Louis Metro real estate market’s recent performance, detailed in the report shown below, reveals a complex picture. Sales volume is down, yet home values are resilient, even with the lower PPSF for current listings. This discrepancy suggests that, although the pace of sales has slowed, the demand remains robust enough to support current price levels.

Sellers might see this as an opportunity, given the scarcity of inventory and the seller’s market indicated by the low months’ supply. However, buyers may benefit from less competition, even as they face persistent price strength. It’s a pivotal time for the market, and those involved will need to navigate these mixed signals with strategic planning and sound advice from experienced real estate professionals.

Stay tuned to St. Louis Real Estate News for detailed analyses and updates on our local market trends.


STL Market Report

(click on report below for live, current report)STL Market Report - St Louis Metro Area Home Prices and Sale


St Louis Home Affordability Declines Double Digits From a Year Ago

As a result of rising interest rates and home prices at levels higher than increases in income, homes in St Louis continue to become less affordable.  In fact, according to data just released by ATTOM Data Research, home affordability declined double digits during the 3rd quarter of this year in all five counties that make up the St Louis core market.  As the info graphic below illustrates, the percentage of wages needed to buy a home have, depending upon county, increased about a third to almost half from the historical “norm”.

Least affordable ever…

Three of the five counties that make up the St Louis Core market (St Louis, St Louis City, and St Charles) hit the least affordable levels ever during 3rd quarter, with Franklin County hitting its lowest level last quarter and seeing a slight uptick in affordability during 3rd quarter.  Conversely, Jefferson County saw its least affordable quarter back in 2007.

Most affordable ever…

We have to take a quick stroll down memory lane to visit when homes were most affordable in the St Louis area.  Franklin County had its most affordable quarter just back in 2020, St Louis County was back in 2013, Jefferson and St Charles 2012 and the City of St Louis had its most affordable quarter over 14 years ago in 2009.


St Louis Home Affordability – 3rd Quarter 2023

(click on image below for full infographic showing all info)

St Louis Home Affordability - 3rd Quarter 2023

St Louis Real Estate Market Report for July 2023 with accurate data you can trust

Below is the St Louis Real Estate Market Report for July 2023 for the City and County of St Louis combined from MORE, REALTORS®, one of the most trusted sources for St Louis real estate market data and information.  You can access the full infographic, containing data for St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin Counties as well by clicking on the image below.

The current St Louis real estate market leaves little room for errors…

The real estate market today is like a tough game where making wrong decisions based on poor information can cost you. With few homes listed and many eager buyers, there’s a rush to outbid others, leading some people to pay more than a home’s true value. It’s okay to pay a bit extra if you’re doing it for the right reasons and based on solid facts.

To make smart choices, you need accurate information and a great real estate agent who knows how to use it. I’m proud that our team at MORE, REALTORS® is comprised of such experts who can guide buyers and sellers to make rewarding decisions in this tricky market.

We work hard to gather and share the best market information to help our agents and clients make informed decisions. While no information is 100% perfect, getting as close to that as possible can help you make smarter choices.

Don’t all REALTORS® have this data?

You might think all agents have the same information, especially those under the REALTORS® banner. In St. Louis, for example, every REALTOR® can access the same vast data through the MARIS MLS system. But simply having access isn’t enough. It’s like the internet: the challenge is finding trustworthy information.

A lot of agents use general data given to them by others. Our agents, however, use special software to customize reports for their clients. They also double-check the information to spot any errors. This shows how serious they are about making sure you get only the best, even when the data comes from a trusted source like ours.

Continue reading “St Louis Real Estate Market Report for July 2023 with accurate data you can trust

St Louis Real Estate Market Report

Below is our St Louis Real Estate Market Report for March 2023 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 March 2023

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)St Louis Real Estate Report for March 2023

Two of the Three Fastest Growing Missouri Counties are In the St Louis Metro Area – So is the 3rd Fastest Shrinking One

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 estimates of population and components of change report released yesterday, Lincoln County was the Missouri county that experienced the highest percentage gain in population from 2020 – 2022.  As the list below shows, Lincoln County saw a 6.0% increase in popular during the period from 2020 to 2022, with Wright County coming in 2nd at 5.3% and another St Louis MSA county, Warren County, coming in 3rd on the list with a 4.8% increase in population.

At the other end of the list was the City of St Louis which saw a 5.0% decline in population during the period giving it the rank of 113 of the 115 counties in Missouri that were ranked.

Missouri Population Change 2020-2022 By County

Top 10 Counties by Percentage Growth In Population

(click on list to see entire list showing all Missouri Counties)

Missouri Population Change 2020-2022 By County

Access the complete list HERE.

St Louis Real Estate Market Report

Below is our St Louis Real Estate Market Report for February 2023 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 February 2023

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)St Louis Real Estate Report for February 2023

St Louis Distressed Home Sales Trending Upward But Still Low

There have been a fair number of reports about the increase in distressed home sales in various markets around the country and on the national level.  However, in St Louis, distressed home sales are on the rise, they are still at levels that are historically quite low.

Distressed home sales that involve some sort of distress or other condition that would typically result in the home not selling for a normal “retail” price like it would if it were a typical listing in market ready condition with normal marketing time allowed.  The chart below shows distressed home sales in the St Lous 5-County core market over the past years and also shows the 12-month sales trend.  For our purposes, we include probate sales, short-sales, foreclosures, and bank and government owned homes as distressed sales. As the chart illustrates, the 12-month sales trend has increased for 5 consecutive months but is still at a level that is significantly lower than it has been for the bulk of the 5-year period illustrated on the chart.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Distressed Home Sale and 12-Month Trend for Past 5 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart with the latest data)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Distressed Home Sale and 12-Month Trend for Past 5 Years

Survey Shows Majority Of Consumers Think Now Is A Good Time To Sell A Home But Not Buy One

Monthly, Fannie Mae surveys consumers to gauge their sentiment toward whether it’s a good time to buy or sell a home and publishes the result in their Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI).  As the chart below illustrates, in the most recent survey, which was just released, the HPSI index was at 60.8, the lowest level in nearly 11 years.  No doubt the higher interest rates and softening economy are taking their toll on homebuyer’s optimism about the prospects of buying a home in the current market.  This marks the seventh-consecutive monthly decline in the index and the first time since May 2020 that more consumers thought home prices would decline than not.  In September 2022, the month covered in the latest report, only 19% of consumers thought it was a good time to buy a home while 59% felt it was a good time to sell.

You can access all the data and charts from the Fannie Mae Purchase Sentiment report here.

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Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart 

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart 

 

Will The Housing Market Crash?

Apparently a lot of consumers are concerned about the housing market crashing or at least concerned enough to be online searching for answers.  According to Google Trends the search phrase “Will The Housing Market Crash?” has hit it’s 5-year peak in terms of interest level during the last 4-5 months.  In addition, according to Google Adwords tools, there are 10,000 – 100,000 searches for month for the phrase “Will The Housing Market Crash?” and 100,000 – 1,000, 000 monthly searches for “housing market crash“.

Will there actually be a housing market crash in St Louis?

I guess first we should define “crash” as the word itself sounds rather harsh.  But if we agree that a market crash would be less severe than the housing market bubble burst we witnessed in 2008, then I would say a “crash” is more likely than a bubble burst.  However, what may seem like a crash in the St Louis housing market may in fact not be as much of a crash as well as a correction.  Given that the St Louis real estate market has been flying high for a few years now and many seller’s have felt like they died and went to heaven and buyer’s just felt like they died from the competition and difficulty in buying a home, a correction is really needed.

How bad will the St Louis housing market correction be?

Continue reading “Will The Housing Market Crash?

National Headlines Say Homebuyers Canceling Deals At Highest Rate Since Start of Covid…Is this true in St Louis?

If you’re heard it once, you’ve likely heard it a hundred times, “all real estate is local”.  This is why you can’t put too much faith in national news or data if you are interested in buying or selling a home in St Louis.  This is also why at MORE, REALTORS®, we put so much time, effort and money into producing the best and most accurate local data we can.  We think it’s important to bring the data and information down to the local level.

Homebuyers are canceling deals at highest rate since start of COVID” was the headline earlier this week on Inman News, an online real estate industry publication read by many brokers and agents.  My usual response to news like this is “I wonder if that’s true in St Louis?” and I set out to pull the data to see.

There is not really a way to count “canceled” deals…

While I don’t know exactly what the writer of the Inman article was referencing in terms of “canceled” deals.  However, in a typical contract to purchase a home in St Louis only gives the purchase one way to “cancel” a contract and that is in the building inspection contingency where the purchaser has the right to terminate the contract for no reason.  When that happens it is not reported to the REALTOR® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as a “canceled” listing however, it is simply put back on the market.  There are certainly other reasons contracts fail and listings come back on the market such as the buyer’s inability to get financing, appraisal issues, etc.

“Back on the market” is something we can count…

Continue reading “National Headlines Say Homebuyers Canceling Deals At Highest Rate Since Start of Covid…Is this true in St Louis?

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For June 2022

St Louis Real Estate Report for June 2022

(click on infographic for complete report including other counties)St Louis Housing Report for June 2022 - St Louis Realtors

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.

Continue reading “Will Home Prices Come Crashing Down?

Consumer Sentiment Toward Now Being A Good Time To Buy Hits Record Low

Every month Fannie Mae surveys consumers to gauge their sentiment toward whether its a good time to buy or sell a home and publishes the result in their Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI).  In the most recent HPSI report, 79% of the people surveyed said they felt now was a bad time to buy a home, which is the highest percentage of people feeling this way since the survey was begun in 2012.  Seventeen percent of those surveyed felt it was a good time to buy a home and 4% didn’t know whether it was or not.

[xyz-ips snippet=”Homes-For-Sale”]

Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

nie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

 

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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.

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

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For February 2022

St Louis Real Estate Report for February 2022

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

Stop! Who Goes There? A Smart Lock Knows…

How ‘smart’ can a smart home be if its locks can’t tell you who is coming and going and when they came and went? In my opinion, that’s not a very ‘smart’ house. Nowadays, we use our phones for much more than talking to other people. To name a few, we use them for directions, email, and paying for groceries. So why wouldn’t we use them to remotely lock and unlock our doors too?

From my previous articles you might remember that one of the primary requirements in a smart home is either smart temperature control or a smart security feature. A smart lock meets the security feature requirement and it’s one of the simplest additions to your house. Many of these can be installed using the standard pre-drilled holes that likely already exist in your doors. Usually, in under 25 minutes, you can go from fumbling around for the keys to your door automatically unlocking as you approach.  

Have you ever been running a little late to an appointment and get 10 minutes down the road only to wonder if you locked your door? Yeah, me too, but with a smart lock, you could just get to the next stoplight and check your phone to verify the lock status. If you did forget, no worries—just tap the lock icon on the phone app and problem solved. 

Another great feature of most smart locks is knowing who accesses the house and when. This can be done either through the assigned app or individual user codes. For peace of mind, you can track who comes and goes. 

One of my favorite features is the autolocking function that can be tied to arming your security system. You no longer need to walk around and check all your doors because the system will just lock all the doors when you arm your alarm. Of course, you’ll need a security system for this feature, but some smart locks can be programmed to lock automatically at preset times throughout the day. If you have toddlers, this is a great feature. Mine love randomly unlocking doors and not telling me, so without that feature, the door would remain unlocked until I notice it.

Do you own an Airbnb? These locks are great for creating temporary access codes for each paying guest. Just like magic, once their reservation is up the code no longer works. Overall, smart locks are a great addition to modern lifestyles and they’re an affordable addition to virtually anyone’s home security. Plus, you don’t need an engineering degree to install one.

Interested in knowing MORE about Smart Home tech? Contact the only Smart Home Certified CRS agent in the Greater St. Louis area. *

*Based upon actual knowledge the author has at the time of publication”;

Interested in knowing MORE about Smart Home tech? Contact the only Smart Home Certified CRS agent in the Greater St. Louis area*.

*Based upon actual knowledge the author has at the time of publication


Seventy-Percent of Consumers Think Now is a Bad Time To Buy a Home-83% Of Millennial’s Feel That Way

According to Fannie Mae’s® Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI), 70% of consumers say it’s a bad time to buy a home while 25% feel it’s a good time to buy.  As the chart below illustrates, this is the highest level reached for it not being a good time to buy in the 3-year period the chart covers.  Actually, this is the highest level it’s reached since Fannie Mae began tracking the data in 2010.

Millennials are pessimistic about home buying…

The bottom chart also reflects the sentiment of consumers in the survey about buying a home now but is broken down by age group.  This chart shows the net percentage of those saying it’s a “good time to buy” less those saying “it’s a bad time to buy”.  The higher the line goes on the chart the more the good time to buy folks outweigh the bad time to buy.  As you can see, the black line, which depicts consumers in the 35-44 age group is the lowest on the chart with a net of -68.  This is the result of 83% of the consumers in this age group saying it is a bad time to buy and just 15% saying it’s a good time, resulting in a net of -68%.

Seniors have a better feeling about the market…

The red line depicts the sentiment of those 65 years and older and the net percentage there is -26%, so, while the percentage of people that feel now is not a good time to buy still outweighs the ones in this age group that think it is a good time, the resulting difference is about 40 points better than the millennial group.

Continue reading “Seventy-Percent of Consumers Think Now is a Bad Time To Buy a Home-83% Of Millennial’s Feel That Way

December 2021 St Louis Real Estate Report

St Louis Real Estate Report - December 2021 - St Louis Housing Report - St Louis Realtors

Smart Temperature Control and What Are the Benefits

Smart Home Certification - Smart Home Realtors

Do you like inconvenience? Spending more money than needed? Do you like things to be more difficult than needed? Do you like not knowing how much energy you use and when you use it most? Do you desire suboptimal temperature control? If you answered ‘no’ to these questions then whether you knew it or not, you’re already convinced that a Smart Thermostat is worth a couple of hundred bucks to you.

One of the primary requirements in a ‘Smart Home’ is either smart temperature control or a smart security feature. Of these two, the one to likely pay for itself first is the smart thermostat. It may sound a little creepy but most smart thermostats are self-learning which means they adjust the temperature based on your habits and schedules. The simplest example is that they know when you are sleeping, and they know when you’re awake. They know when you’re away from the house too, and because of this intuitiveness, it can adjust the temperature accordingly. How does it know these things? Glad you asked. These types of thermostats use a combination of scheduling, geofencing, and motion detection to know how to adjust.


[xyz-ips snippet=”Do-You-Have-A-Smart-Home-Button”]
Continue reading “Smart Temperature Control and What Are the Benefits

What Is a Smart Home and What Does It Mean for a Homeowner?

Smart Home Certification - Smart Home Realtors

Simply put, a Smart Home means your home has a control system that connects with your various appliances, systems, and features to automate specific tasks and is typically remotely controlled. The real estate industry, in conjunction with CNET, accepted definition is: 

“A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or similar protocols) for controlling, automating, and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety, or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer, or a separate system within the home itself.”


[xyz-ips snippet=”Do-You-Have-A-Smart-Home-Button”]
Continue reading “What Is a Smart Home and What Does It Mean for a Homeowner?

Mortgage Interest Rates Hit Highest Level In Six Months

Mortgage interest rates were at 2.65% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan at the beginning of this year, according to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey® and rose through the late winter months and started the spring housing season with rates hitting 3.18% on April 1st.  This rate was the highest rate since June, 2020 when rates hit 3.21% and was the highest level for interest rates in 2021.  This past week, according to the same market survey, the 30 -year fixed-rate mortgage interest rate hit 3.09%, the highest level in six-months, but still below the peak rate for the year of 3.18%.

As the chart below illustrates,  mortgage interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have spent most of the time this year between about 2.75% and 3.0%. This is a pretty narrow fluctuation range and, even at the high of the range, or at the peak rate of 3.18% for this year, is still historically very attractive as evidence by the second chart below, one that shows mortgage interest rates for the past 10-years.

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 12 Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart and other loan types)Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 12 Months

Mortgage Interest Rates – 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 10 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart and other loan types)

Mortgage Interest Rates - 30 Years Conforming Conventional Loan -Past 10 Years

 

Buyer’s Agents Aren’t Free

Like the majority of real estate companies in St Louis, our firm, MORE, REALTORS® is a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.  One of the things that go along with membership is to agree to abide by the Code of Ethics.  Within the code of ethics, is Article 12 which states, in part,  “REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communication and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”  As with every article in the code of ethics, there are “standards of practice” to serve as examples of how that article should be applied.  For this article there is Standard of Practice 12-2 which states “REALTORS® may represent their services as “free” or without cost even if they expect to receive compensation from a source other than their client provided that the potential for the REALTOR® to obtain a benefit from a third party is clearly disclosed at the same time.

I have always taken exception to that standard of practice for a couple of reasons, including:

  1. I don’t believe the statement is true.
  2. I think good buyer’s agents work hard,  know the value they bring to their clients and earn what they are paid.  To think that an agent has to represent that their services are free in order to get a client to use them I feel is an insult to a professional agent.

The reason behind my first issue above is that while in a traditional home sale, the buyer may not directly pay the agent representing them (the buyer’s agent) they pay them indirectly.  Typically, when a home is listed and sold using a REALTOR®, the seller agrees to pay commission to their agent (the seller’s agent) as well as to the Buyer’s agent.  Why would a seller agree to do this?  Well, they basically have no choice as, if they want their home listed in the REALTORS® MLS system (who doesn’t?), they must offer a commission to the agent that sells the home as it’s a rule. So, like it or not, the seller is going to “agree” to pay the buyer’s agent’s commission.  To say the total commission the seller is paying does not affect the price they accept I think would be disingenuous.   So, if the commission the seller has to pay affects the price they will accept from a buyer and the commission the seller is paying includes the buyer’s agents commission, I think it’s safe to say the buyers agents services to the buyer are not “free”.

The Department of Justice must feel the same way…

Clearly, I’m not the only one out there that feels this way.  Last November the DOJ (Department of Justice) and NAR (National Association of REALTORS®) entered into a settlement agreement to end an investigation.  One of the things NAR had to agree to was to no longer permit buyers agents to advertise that their services were free.  Recently, this agreement fell apart and the DOJ and NAR are involved in legal battles now so we’ll see where that goes.

Why a good buyer’s agent is more than worth the cost…

So now I’ll get to my second point.  A good, professional buyer’s agent is worth every dollar they make on a transaction and, quite frankly, often don’t really get paid enough.  Before you roll your eyes and think I’m just another one of those people that have “drank the REALTOR® KOOL-AID®”, stick with me.  I assure you I’m not one of those, I hate KOOL-AID®, avoid sugar as much as I can, and I don’t like hypocrites.  I like to tell it like it is.  Often, I’m very supportive of the real estate industry, the people in it the practices, etc, however, there are times I am not.  But, getting back to buyer’s agents, I want to add another caveat…note the adjectives I used; “good and professional”.  I’m not in any way saying all agents are created equal nor that all agents are worth what they get paid.  However, there are a lot of great ones that are very dedicated to their profession, love serving their clients, do so in an exceptional way and more than earn the commission they make.  I feel blessed in that in our firm, MORE, REALTORS® I’m literally surrounded by agents like that.

What are you going to do for me that makes you worth the price I’m going to pay for your representation?  This is a good question to ask an agent you are considering to represent you as a buyer’s agent.  If it were me, here are some of the things I would like to hear in the response as well as be convinced that this is what past clients have experienced and what I can expect from the agent:

  • Their knowledge and experience of the local market.  They should know what the housing market is like, the prices, the trends, the inventory, etc.
  • Their knowledge of the type of real estate you are looking for.  For example, if you love older homes, such as the 80+-year-old ones that exist in Kirkwood, Webster Groves, you are going to want an agent with extensive knowledge of older homes.  This will be invaluable to you when evaluating the condition of the home, reviewing your building inspection, etc.  If you are looking for a mid-century modern, it would help to have an agent that knows what you are talking about as well as where to find that style of home.
  • Their knowledge of the process and guidance they will give you.  Today, we are very much in a seller’s market and buyers are having to compete with often a dozen or more offers on a home.  You want an agent that is detailed, knows the process, the contract, and has a great grasp on how to best prepare you so that, when the time comes, your offer is seen in the best light possible by the seller.  A good agent will not leave anything to chance in this area.
  • Their relationship and reputation in the industry.  There is a fine line on this one, as you don’t ever want to choose an agent that is more concerned with what the agent on the other side of the deal thinks of them rather than fearlessly representing your best interests.  However, you don’t want an agent that has a bad reputation in the industry or is known as someone that is impossible to work with.  I would want to find one that I’m convinced will always have MY best interest in mind, that understands their fiduciary obligation to me, and is well respected by their peers.
  • Their commitment to my best interest.  I would want an agent that is laser-focused on my interests and is going to work to do their best to get me what I want under the best terms and price.  But, at the same time, someone that is confident and professional enough to also “stand up to me” if necessary to set me on the right track or to keep me from shooting myself in the foot.

When you take the time to go through some of the things above with an agent and find one that stands out as the best and most professional to represent you, I can almost guarantee that you are more than getting your money’s worth.  I see it time and time again with our agents, where through knowledge and advice, negotiation or strategy, they save their clients not only money (and likely often more than the agent is being paid) but also time and frustration.

So, as my headline says, Buyer’s Agents AREN’T Free and as the things I point out above nor should they be.

Now it’s time for a shameless plug…do you want to be connected with a great, professional agent that is a Master of Real Estate?  Just give me a call at 314.332.1012 or email me at Dennis@stlre.com and after I understand your wants and needs, I’ll connect you with the perfect agent for you!

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.

Continue reading “Has the St Louis Real Estate Market Peaked?

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For September

The St Louis housing market appears to be cooling off slightly with fewer home sales last month than a year ago in 3 of the 5 St Louis area counties that make up the St Louis 5-county core real estate market.  As the charts below illustrate, the decline in the overall St Louis market was very slight, with 3,164 homes sold last month just 11 sales fewer than September last year when there were 3,715 homes sold in the St Louis5-county core market.  The charts have complete details but below is a recap of home sales and prices by county for last month versus September 2020:

  • St Louis City & County – These two counties combined are the only in the core market to see an increase in sales last month from a year ago.  Last month there were 1,710 homes sold, an increase of 4.6% from a year ago when there were 1,634 homes sold.  Last month the median price of homes sold was $247,000 and increase of nearly 7.5% from last year when it was $229,900.
  • Franklin County – Last month there were 127 homes sold, a decrease of 13.6% from a year ago when there were 147 homes sold.  Last month the median price of homes sold was $227,050 and increase of nearly 14.5% from last year when it was $198,300.
  • Jefferson County – Last month there were345 homes sold, a decrease of 6.8% from a year ago when there were 370 homes sold.  Last month the median price of homes sold was $229,000 and increase of nearly 9.0% from last year when it was $210,000.
  • St Charles County – Last month there were 617 homes sold, a decrease of 10.8% from a year ago when there were 684 homes sold.  Last month the median price of homes sold was $303,000 and increase of nearly 12.2% from last year when it was $270,000.

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Continue reading “St Louis Area Housing Market Report For September

St Louis Listing Supply Increases 50 Percent in July from June…still low

For the past couple of years now you’ve heard how low the inventory of homes for sale is, and, if you are a buyer, you have no doubt experienced some grief or hardship in buying a home as a result.  However, this may be changing.  As the table below shows, there are currently 3,565 active listings in the St Louis 5-county core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) which based upon the rate of home sales, works out to a supply of 1.41 months. This is a 50% increase from the supply (inventory) from June of 0.94 months.  Granted, at 1.41 months, it is still VERY LOW from a historical perspective, but this is something to watch as it could be indicative of a change in the market.

What do the leading indicators show?

We don’t want to base too much on just one report for one month so to drill down a little further lets look at the STL Trends Reports, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®.  Below the table is the New Listings Trends Report which shows for the most recent week reported, new listings were up 23% from the same period a year ago.  There were 885 new listings in the St Louis 5-county core market during the week 7/18/21 – 7/24/21 as compared with 718 new listings for the same period last year.  On the other side of the deal, so to speak, as the New Contracts Trends Report shows, there were 890 new contracts written during that same week, a decline of 1% from the same period the year before.

Don’t sound the alarm yet..

As I’ve said, even with the increase in inventory it is still low and the trend reports are just for one week so we need to give it more time and watch the trend in the coming couple of weeks before we can determine that there is possibly a significant trend indicating a change in the market.  Stay tuned…

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Continue reading “St Louis Listing Supply Increases 50 Percent in July from June…still low

St Charles County Homes Sold For Largest Percentage Over List Price In June

As the chart below illustrates (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®), homes in St Charles County sold for a median price equal to nearly 105% of the current list price of the listing in June, which is the highest percentage of list price for the counties that make up the St Louis 5-county core market.  For the 9 months up to and including January of this year, 4 of the 5 counties all had a median sold price equal to 100% of the current list price with Franklin County averaging less.  In January St Charles county took off followed by Jefferson County, St Louis County and St Louis City all of which saw the median sold price exceed 100% of the current list price.  Franklin County made it up to 100% but has stayed there.

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St Louis Area Counties $ Of Current List Price Homes Sold For During Past 13 Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis Area Counties $ Of Current List Price Homes Sold For During Past 13 Months

St Louis Home Sales And Prices Saw Double-Digit Increase In Past 12-Months

For the 12-month period ended May 31, 2021, there were 30,225 homes sold within the St Louis 5-County core market, an increase in home sales of 13.91% from the prior 12-month period, according to the STL Market Report below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®.  During the same period, St Louis home prices increased 11.5% from a median of $213,000 to $237,500.  As the report also shows, the current supply of listings for sale is low at 0.86 months.

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STL Market Report For the St Louis 5-County Core Market

(click on report for live, complete report)

STL Market Report For the St Louis 5-County Core Market

 

STL Market Report – May 2021

St Louis Realtors Home Prices and Sales Market Report May 2021

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Sixty-Three Percent Of St Louis Homes Sold In Past 12 Months Sold At Or Above List Price

It’s no secret how competitive the St Louis housing market is currently.  In effort to get their offer accepted, homebuyers are waiving financing contingencies, building inspections and doing everything they can to convince the seller to take their offer.  However, in addition to those aforementioned things, while it’s not necessarily the most important thing, price is pretty close to the top of the list.

As a result of everything mentioned above, almost 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 the past 12 months sold for the asking price or above.  As the infographic below shows (exclusively available from MORE, REALTORS®) there were 34,225 homes sold during the past 12-months in the St Louis 5-County core market with 63% 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.

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Continue reading “Sixty-Three Percent Of St Louis Homes Sold In Past 12 Months Sold At Or Above List Price