The Effect of Coronavirus (COVID-19) On The St Louis Real Estate Market

While we deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic practicing social-distancing, shutting down events, public gatherings and the like, we are still trying to go on with our lives at the same time.  A big challenge to this is the unknown; not knowing how bad things will get, how long we may have to live like this, etc.  Fortunately, for those of us in Missouri, at the time I’m writing this, we have just 41 confirmed cases putting Missouri at number 40 of the 50 states in terms of the number of cases.  Granted, once more people are tested, our position may raise, but hopefully, due to the swift action by our leaders and citizens here, it will not rise anywhere close to the levels we are seeing in some states, including our neighbor to the east, Illinois where there are 423 cases as of this morning.

What effect is the coronavirus having on St Louis real estate?  

  

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – March 2020 – 2020 off to a better start than last year…so far

The St Louis real estate market is off to a great start for 2020!  Home sales year to date has outpaced sales from the same time a year ago and everything points to 2020 being a good year for real estate!  The $64 question is, however, what effect the Coronavirus may have on the market.  Only time will tell, but my thoughts are that while there will no doubt be some negative impact on the St Louis housing market as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) its impact will be much less than what we have seen of late in the stock market.

I don’t believe we will see any sort of significant decline in home prices but we will likely see a “pause” in sales as some buyers decide to wait and see how things go.  No doubt some of the potential buyers that will be affected are those whose jobs or income are impacted as a result of Coronavirus, such as people in the travel, hospitality, sports, and entertainment industries.

Rates jumped up last week but are still attractive. The week before last, St Louis mortgage interest rates hit an all-time low as buyers were locking in interest rates on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage as low as 2.95%! This past week, however, that changed and the rates shot up by as much as 1% and not as a result of the stock market or coronavirus as much as from just too much demand.  Apparently the investors that purchase the loans from lenders around the country got overwhelmed as the volume set record highs so they raised rates.  Even with the increase, rates are still historically good.  

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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Home Sales In St Louis 5-County Core Market Have Trended Upward Last 3 Years – Time To Sale Rises Sharply

Home sales in St Louis have trended upward over the past 3 years with 25,450 homes sold during 2017 (non-distressed sales only), 25,804 during 2018 and  25,962 homes during 2019.  As the chart below shows, the days on market (time to sell a home) was 19 days in 2017, declined to 17 days in 2018 and then jumped sharply to 32 days during 2019.  The bottom chart shows data for the past 12-months and, as it reveals, the time to sell a home has continued to upward during 2020 thus far with the time in January rising to 47 days.

St Louis 5-County Core Market -Home Sales and Time To Sell – 2017 – 2019

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Market -Home Sales and Time To Sell - 2017 - 2019

St Louis 5-County Core Market – Home Sales and Time To Sell – Past 12-Months

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)St Louis 5-County Core Market - Home Sales and Time To Sell - Past 12-Months (no-distressed)

St Louis Metro Area Home Sales Increase Nearly 2 Percent In Past 12 Months

There were 35,702 homes sold in the St Louis metro area in the 12-month period ended January 31, 2020, an increase of nearly 2 percent (1.97%) from the prior 12-month period when there were 35,013 homes sold.  As MORE, RELATORS exclusive STL Market Report below shows, the median price of homes sold in St Louis during the most recent period was $195,000, an increase of 4 percent from the prior 12-month period.

Home Sales  St Louis MSA – Past 12 Months vs Prior 12 Months

(click on table for current report)

Home Sales  St Louis MSA – Past 12 Months vs Prior 12 Months

New Rule Will Require REALTORS Put All Listings In The MLS Or Not Market Them

Over the past couple of months, I have written a couple of articles about a new policy approved by the National Association of REALTORS® in November 2019 known as the “Clear Cooperation Policy”.  While I’m not sure how closely consumers are watching, or if they even care at all about the policy at this point, REALTORS® have definitely been following the policy and have been pretty vocal about their thoughts on the policy, both for and against.

Before I go on, I should disclose that I currently serve as Chairman of the Board for MARIS (Mid-America Regional Information Systems) which is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that serves St Louis area REALTORS® as well as several other markets throughout the state of Missouri.  In addition, I’m a broker-owner at MORE, REALTORS®, arguably one of the most technology-forward real estate brokerages and a leaders in the digital marketing world, so I have strong feelings from both sides of the fence, so to speak.

Now, back to the new policy, MLS 8.0 as it is known in the industry.  For members of MARIS, which, as I mentioned, includes all REALTORS® throughout the St Louis metro area, the new policy goes into effect on April 28th.

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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So what is the new MLS policy and how will it affect consumers?

From a buyers perspective, I think the new rules are a benefit in that there will be more transparency with regard to listings that are on the market, or are listed and will be available soon, to both them as well as their buyer’s agents.  The reason for this is, under the new rules, listing agents will be required to put all listings in the MLS within one business day of doing any marketing which would include putting a for sale sign (or coming soon sign) in the yard.  While “putting it in the MLS” doesn’t mean they have to make the listing information publicly available (that is an option) but they have to at least enter it as “coming soon” which means that the roughly 14,000 agents that are members of the regional MLS (MARIS) will be aware of the listing and have access to information on it including the listing agent information.  In fact, the only way a listing agent will be able to avoid letting other agents know about their listing is by giving it a “withheld” status in the MLS, which means no one outside that agents office, would be aware of the listing and there cannot be any marketing done at all not even a for sale sign in the yard.

From a sellers perspective, I don’t think there are really any “benefits” to sellers from the new rule over where things stand today however, there is only limited negative impact on sellers as a result of the new rules.  The reason I say there are no additional benefits to the seller that is because instead of opening up more marketing and promotion opportunities to the seller, or the listing agent it puts more restrictions on what the listing agent can do.  The new rules, to some extent you could say, dictate to the listing agent how they will market and promote the listing.  One might ask, but wouldn’t the seller want their home in the MLS, isn’t that part of the reason they listed it with a REALTOR®?  The short answer is yes, for most sellers, if their listing is not entered into the MLS at some point prior to accepting an offer, they are likely leaving money on the table.

However, having said that, the timing of when to put it in the MLS can be critical and, if a listing agent is forced to put the listing in the MLS too early, or prevented from doing any marketing or promotion of it beforehand, it can also result in the seller leaving money on the table. The reason for this is the new rules limit how long a listing may stay in “coming soon” status to 21 days.  While 21 days is long enough in many instances for a seller to prepare their home for the market, often times it is not.  In addition, it is common for a listing agent to get a property listed in advance of when, for timing reasons, the seller is really ready to sell.  A lot of very good listing agents use this period to market the home and create interest in it in advance of it actually being available for showings and sale.  This type of marketing, especially in this low-inventory market, works very well and often results in drawing literally a house full of people to the listing once it is finally on the market and available for showings.  It is common for the result to be multiple offers, oftentimes over the asking price, which, while maybe it’s not great for buyers, it’s great for sellers!  So, many agents feel (including me) that restricting marketing of a listing in advance of when it is actually available for showings and sale is not in the sellers best interest.

Let not your hearts be troubled though sellers!  There are firms out there, such as mine, MORE, REALTORS® that embrace change and see things such as this as yet another opportunity to set ourselves apart from the other real estate companies out there.  To do so, we use our unique digital marketing skills, along with our experience in the industry, to maximize the marketing for our sellers to make sure we are doing everything possible to make sure our sellers get the best price and terms for their home while still staying within the rules we have to abide by.  (Ok, shameless self-promotion, but hey, I need a little something for all this hard work, right?)

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

 

 

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 Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – February 2020 – Home Sales Trend Going Into 2020 Looking Good

The St Louis real estate market is off to a good start for 2020! The home sales trends going into this year are encouraging and, coupled with the strong economy we are in, has me very confident that 2020 is going to be a great year for the St Louis real estate market! MORE buying power! In addition, long term mortgage interest rates just dropped again giving buyers more buying power!  See the example in my video of just how much less a home will cost you today payment-wise than 14 months ago, even after appreciation has pushed prices up. Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

St Louis Home Sales Trend Jumps Up In December Stays Steady In January

The St Louis home sales trend jumped in December when sales for the prior 12-months broke through the 27,000 mark to 27,149.  The trend continued into January of this year, as there were 27,159 homes sold in the 12-month period ended January 31, 2020.  This is a good start for 2020 and is a great leading indicator of how the market is going to do this year.  Add lower mortgage interest rates to this (the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 3.45% last week) and the strongest economy in decades and we have a recipe for a great housing market!

St Louis 5-County Market Home Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

New Homes Sales In 2019 Drop From Year Before In Midwest

There were 70,000 new homes sold in the Midwest Region of the United States during 2019, a decline of 7.2% from 2018 when there were 76,000 new homes sold, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

As the table below shows, there were 40,000 new homes for sale in the Mideast at the end of 2019, which translates into roughly a 7 month supply of new homes for sale.

New Homes Sold In Midwest – 2018-2019

(in thousands)

New Homes Sold In Midwest - 2018-2019

  

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

Jefferson County Zip 63048 Homes Sold The Fastest In The Past 30 Days

Homes that sold in the 63048 zip code in the last 30 days were on the market an average of just 30 days before selling, making this the fastest sold zip code in the St Louis MSA.  The 63048 zip code area in Jefferson County includes the cities of Pevely, Festus and Herculaneum.

Five of the top ten zip codes were in St Louis County, two in Jefferson County and one in the Counties of St Charles, St Louis City and Madison, Il.

St Louis Zip Codes Where Homes Sold The Fastest In Last 30 Days

(click on table for current, complete list)

Fastest Selling Zip Codes In St Louisa

St Louis’ Core Market Home Sales Ends 2019 Slightly Ahead of 2018

Throughout 2019 St Louis home sales were running slightly behind the prior year and looked like that is how the year would end but, thanks to a strong finish, St Louis home sales for 2019 ended up being slightly higher than the year before.  As the report below shows, the 5-county core St Louis real estate market (without distressed sales) ended 2019 with 25,946 home sales, up 0.71% from the year before when there we 25,674 homes sold.  The median price of homes sold during 2019 (non-distressed) was $215,000, an increase fo 4.88% from the year before when the median home price was $205,000.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales and Prices 2019

(click on table for current report)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales and Prices 2019

St Louis Homeownership Rate For 2019 Highest In Four Years

During the 4th quarter of this year, the homeownership rate for the St Louis MSA was 68.3%, a slight decline from the month before, but St Louis ended the year with an average homeownership rate of 68.1%, the highest end of year average in 4 years!

St Louis MSA Homeownership Rate – Past 5 Years

(Click on the table below for St Louis homeownership rates by quarter from 2005-present)

St Louis Home Ownership Rates

Why Accurate Home Price And Sales Data Is Vital To Buyers and Sellers

I’ll concede the fact that not everyone is as much of a data geek as I am and, in fact, a more accurate statement would probably be that most people are not, including the majority of home buyers and sellers.    Sure, home buyers and sellers are interested in home prices and what the potential value of the home is they are looking to buy or sell, but most leave the real data analysis to their agent.  After all, part of being a professional real estate agent is knowing the market as well as knowing how to research the market and apply market data to their client’s situation.

However,  don’t assume all real estate agents are created equal in this regard and that they all know the market as well as they should or do the research they should.  There are many great agents that do these things very well but there are a bunch, probably an equal number, if not more, that don’t.  Even the agents that do it well are still limited to the data resources they have available to them.

The MLS is the best source of market data...

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – January 2020 – The market finished 2019 strong!

The St Louis real estate market had a strong finish in 2019! One of the many great things for the St Louis housing market about a strong finish in 2019 is that 2020 begins strongly as well!  January will be a key month in terms of whether the trend will continue or whether December’s uptick was an isolated event. Another encouraging thing about the real estate market is that long term mortgage interest rates remain low!  See in the video just how powerful this is!  How a house today will actually cost you less than a little over a year ago, even after factoring in home price appreciation! Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

St Louis Home Sales Fare Better Against Prior Year Than Condo Sales

There were 3,637 condos sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during 2019, a decline of 2.28% from 2018 when there were 3,722 condos sold.  As I reported yesterday, 2019 St Louis home sales were down 1.18% in 2019, just over half of the rate of decline of condo sales.

As the STL Market Report below shows (available exclusively through MORE, REALTORS), the median price of condos sold during 2019 was $155,000, an increase of 4.15% from the year before.  In contrast, home prices increased by 5.85% during the same period.

Going into 2020, the inventory of homes for sale remains low and favors sellers.  Currently, the supply of homes for sale is just over 2 months.

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Condo Market

STL Market Report For The St Louis 5-County Core Condo Market

St Louis Area Home Sales For 2019 Fall A Little Short of 2018

There were 27,076 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market during 2019, a decline of 1.18% from 2018 when there were 27,399 homes sold.  As the STL Market Report below shows (available exclusively through MORE, REALTORS), the median price of homes sold during 2019 was $208,000, an increase of 5.85% from the year before.

Going into 2020, the inventory of homes for sale remains low and favors sellers.  Currently, the supply of homes for sale is just over 2 months.

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

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

Top Ten Zip Codes Where Homes Sold The Fastest In St Louis During Past 30-Days

Homes in the Lincoln County zip code of 63362 sold the fastest in the past 30-days with an average time to sell of just 40 days, according to the latest data available from MORE, REALTORS®.

As the list below shows, 4 of the remaining 10 fastest-sold zips in the St Louis MSA were in St Charles County, 3 in St Louis County, 1 in Franklin County and 1 in St Clair County, IL.


Fastest SOLD Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA In Past 30 Days

(Click List Below For Current, Complete List)
Fastest SOLD Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA In Past 30 Days

Home Sales Trend In St Louis 5-County Core Market Falls To Lowest Level In Over 3 Years

After peaking in May 2018 with 27,829 homes sold in the prior 12-months, the St Louis home sales trend has trended downward to 26,830 homes sold in the 12-month period ended November 30, 2019.  This marks the lowest home sales trend for the St Louis 5-County core market in over three years.

In spite of this statistical fact, it should be noted that the difference in home sales for the 12-month period ended November 30, 2019, from the same period a year ago, is just under 3%, so it is a pretty modest decline.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend - Past 5 Years

Should You Keep Your Home On The Market Over Christmas?

Most home buyers and sellers understand the seasonality of the residential real estate market with spring being the “hot” market and winter being a slow one.  This often leads to many sellers with homes that have not sold, opting to take them off the market until after the holidays with the plan to come back when the market gets better.  Is this a good plan though?  As a seller are you missing out on selling your home by taking your home off the market at a time when there is so little competition and at a time that the buyers that are out looking are usually very serious?

Well, first and foremost, if, as a seller, you are taking a break from dealing with keeping your home show-ready, making it available for showings, etc so that you can enjoy time with your family and friends then by all means that is a great plan.  However, if you are taking a listing hiatus because of “the market” or “the time of year”, you may want to rethink it.

715 homes and condos went under contract within a week of Christmas last year…

As the table below shows, there were 715 homes that went under contract within a week of Christmas last year (either in the week proceeding or week after).  So, during what many consider a “dead” time for real estate, quite a few homes sold.  During 2018, there were a total of 31,121 homes and condos sold in the St Louis 5-County Core market so, if we were to simply determine on average how many homes sold in a two-week period we would come up with 1,196.  At 715 sales for this two-week Christmas period, that is just about 60% of an average two-week period, but it’s still rather significant.

Homes and Condos That Went Under Contract Within 1 Week Of Christmas 2018 In The St Louis 5-County Core

Homes and Condos That Went Under Contract Within 1 Week Of Christmas 2018 In 5-County Core

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – December 2019 – No Better Time To Buy!

Between low, low-interest rates and the seasonally low home prices, there is no better time to buy a home! Just like every year, home prices are declining and will continue to decline over the next few weeks until they hit their “winter bottom” and then start the climb back to spring prices. All the while, mortgage interest rates remain low, giving you more buying power than a year ago, even at the higher home prices! Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
Save Commission On Your Home Sale Without Sacrificing Service! See how- FairCommissionRates.com

New Home Construction Trend In St Louis Remains Steady In October

New home construction in St. Louis during October held at about the same trend as September with 4,289 new home permits issued for the 12-month period ended October 31, 2019, a decline of 8.04% from a year ago when there were 4,664 permits issued, according to the latest data from the Home Builders Association of St. Louis & Eastern Missouri.  This is about the same as September when the 12-month trend was down 8.05% from the prior 12-month period.

As the table below shows, 4 of the 7 counties covered in the report saw a decline in new home permits from a year ago.  This is the same as last month, with the same four counties on the decline.  For the 9th month in a row, Franklin County suffered the biggest loss at 41.31%.  At the other end of the spectrum, St Charles County had the largest increase at 7.55% and took removed Warren County from the number one slot after Warren County had 9 consecutive months of the highest growth in permits.

  

St Louis New Home Building Permits – October 2019

St Louis New Home Building Permits - October 2019

 

Cyber Monday Real Estate Deals?

Are you one of those people like me that didn’t go out and fight the crowds on Black Friday in search of deals and instead waited until today to catch the Cyber Monday deals online from the comfort of your home or office?  Or perhaps you were out Friday shopping and now you are back at it online?  In any event, don’t forget that Cyber Monday deals come 7 days a week this time of the year in real estate!  That’s right!  Like I discussed here on Black Friday, some of the best deals of the year on St Louis real estate occur from now until the end of the year.

As the STL Market Chart (exclusively provided by MORE, REALTORS) below illustrates, in the St Louis 5-County Core market home prices (the red line) peaked in July and, with the exception of a little uptick in August, have trended downward since reaching the lowest point since April of this year.  St Louis home sales (the pink line) have shown pretty much the same result, hitting the lowest level in November since February.

It shouldn’t be a surprise…

What is happening in the St Louis real estate market presently does not come as a surprise because home sales are very seasonal and, the seasonal fluctuation we are seeing now, happens every year.  This is why I chose a 25-month chart below, so you can see the last year was pretty much the same pattern.  also, I wanted to show that prices continued to fall last year until hitting bottom in February of this year and I would expect a similar pattern this year.  That does not mean however that you want to wait until February to buy as the prices shown are based upon closed deals.  The typical real estate transaction takes 4-6 weeks to close, so those “February” home prices were from sales transactions that originated in December and January for the most part.  Therefore, from now until the end of the year the best time to buy a home in St Louis from a value standpoint!

“Cyber Monday” St Louis Home Prices

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Cyber Monday St Louis Home Prices

 

Black Friday Shopping? Buy a house and save a bunch of money!

As you get ready to head to the stores today for all those Black Friday bargains, perhaps you should jump on St Louis Real Estate Search and find a few houses to look at as well?  Well, if you have been thinking about buying a home, you would do well to buy now rather than wait for spring.  As the table below shows, based upon data just released from ATTOM Data Solutions, people in Missouri that buy homes in October, November or December get the best deals of the year!  This may account for the fact that there were 25% more homes sold during the 4th quarter than during the 1st quarter.

Now is the BEST time to buy in St Louis!

As the chart at the bottom shows, home prices in St Louis have hit their lowest point during January in 2 of the prior 3 years and in February on the third one.  These prices are reported as of the closing of the sale, so if prices are typically the lowest on homes that closed in January, given that the typical sale takes 4-6 weeks to close, that makes from now until the end of the year the best time to buy a home in St Louis from a value standpoint!

Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home

Best Time Of Year To Buy A Home

Source: ATOM Data Solutions

St Louis 5-County Home Prices and Sales – Past 36 Months

St Louis 5-County Home Prices and Sales - Past 36 Months
Source: STL Market Charts – MORE, REALTORS

Percentage of Homeowners that Sold FSBO In Past Year Near Record Low

Annually, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) does a massive survey of people that purchased and sold a home in the prior year to gather information about them and their transaction.  This is done using a 125 question survey that was sent to nearly 160,000 people, in randomly sampled geographic areas, that purchased or sold a home in the prior year.  The results are published by NAR in their “Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers“.  From this publication, some great information is obtained (in my humble opinion, the best and most accurate information available)  about home buyers and sellers as well as the process they went through, the homes they bought or sold as well as about their agent if they used one.

Sellers’ appetite for selling their own homes remains at a near-record low…

As the chart below, which covers the time period from 2001 to 2019, illustrates, the percentage of homes sold using a real estate agent or broker (the blue bars) has increased from 79% in 2001 to 89% in this year’s survey.  Meanwhile, the percentage of sellers that sold their own homes “For Sale By Owner” (FSBO) declined from 13% in 2001 to 8% in this year’s survey.

Why the decline in FSBO’s?

St Louis Area Buyer’s Markets – Town and Country Near Top Of List

As the table below shows, from MORE, REALTORS®  exclusive STL Market Report, the overall St Louis MSA housing market has a current supply of homes for sale equal to just a little over two-and-a-half months making it very much favor sellers.  The St Louis 5-County Core market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) have, as the second table shows, an even lower supply of homes for sale with a 2.32 month supply.

However, as the list at the bottom shows, there are some municipalities within the St Louis area that are buyers markets, 12 in total to be exact.  A healthy inventory, one that is considered “balanced” and not favoring buyers or sellers, is generally 5 or 6 months, so to make this list of buyers markets there must be greater than a 6-month supply of home currently for sale.  At the top of the list is Pine Lawn a small municipality in northern St Louis county, followed by Swansea IL and then Town and Country.  Town and Country with 4 homes sold in the past month and 54 active listings currently has a 13.5 month supply of homes for sale.

St Louis Home Sales Trending Upward Slightly

After peaking in May 2018 with 27,829 homes sold in the prior 12-months, the St Louis home sales trend has trended downward until hitting 26,852 homes sold in the 12-month period ended August 31, 2019.  However, for the two months since this low, St Louis home sales have trended upward slightly, reaching 26,888 homes sold in the 12-month period ended October 31, 2019.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend – Past 5 Years

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales Trend - Past 5 Years

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

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – November 2019 – Low-Interest Rates And Consistent Sales Trends

The St Louis real estate market trends remain steady and consistent! The St Louis home sales and price trends give me an optimistic outlook for next year.  Low-interest rates continue to offset some of the cost of the increases in home prices that have occurred. Find out more, as well as get information on some of St Louis’s best resources for home buyers and sellers in our just-released market update video.

In our MORE, REALTORS, 5 Minute St Louis Real Estate Market Update video below, you can quickly and easily get the latest information on home prices, home sales, trends and more for the entire St Louis area!  

Thinking of selling and want to know if your neighborhood is a seller's market? Contact us and we'll  answer that question for you.
You can now subscribe to our ITUNES Podcast Channel to receive our updated market videos via podcast automatically each week! Just click here, then click on "Subscribe Free".) St Louis Real Estate Market Update Video - St Louis Home Prices

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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Actual “Cost” Of St Louis Home Today Over 7 Percent Lower Than Year Ago

Thanks to a strong economy and low-interest rates, the actual cost of a home today in St Louis is lower than it was a year ago, in spite of the fact that the median price of homes sold in St Louis has increased by 5.64% in the past year.   Most people buying a typical home in St Louis finance nearly all of the purchase price, therefore, the cost of financing plays a significant role in the true cost of a home.  Buyers decide what they can afford (as do lenders) based upon the house payment, not the price of the home.

The cost of a home today in St Louis versus a year ago…

As our STL Market Chart below shows, the median price of a home sold in the St Louis 5-County core market in October of this year was $200,000, 5.3% higher than last October when the median price of homes sold was $189,900.  However, as our mortgage interest rate chart below shows, the rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is currently 3.78%, over a full percentage point less than October 2018 when the rate was 4.83%.

If we do a little math and use our mortgage payment calculator, we find that if someone bought a median-priced home in St Louis in October of 2018 at $189,900 and financed 100% of the purchase at the current rate at the time (4.83%), their payment would have been $1,027 per month.  If a person were to buy a median-priced home in St Louis today at $200,000 and finance 100% of the purchase at the current rate of 3.78%, their payment would be $958.  So, even though the price of the home increased over 5%, the payment on the home (at current prices) actually dropped by 7.2% showing just how much impact interest rates have on the cost of a home.

What are buyers waiting for?

We are entering the “slow season” for real estate, winter, a time when, year after year, home prices typically decrease until hitting a low around January and then start to increase as the weather warms.  Therefore, we are in the period when home prices will be the lowest they will be for the year, interest rates are near the lowest they have been, so, if I were considering buying a home, I would jump into action as I just don’t see how it’s going to get better than this anytime soon.