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.


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.”


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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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

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.

St Louis Area Housing Market Report For April

In spite of the challenge of a low-inventory housing market, St Louis City and County, St Charles County and Franklin County all saw double-digit increases in the number of homes sold in April while Jefferson County saw a double digit decline.   As the charts below illustrate, the median price of homes sold in those counties increased from a year ago in all the counties, two of them in the double digits.

Not all housing data is the same….nor accurate for that matter…

One thing worth noting is that there are housing market reports out there from many different sources, including many credible ones that may or may not be accurate.  In most cases this is not due to an error on the part of the person or entity sharing the data but a result of either bad data,  inaccurate data or misinterpreted data.   For example, when preparing to write this article I noticed two different reports on “St Louis” home prices for homes sold in April.  One, which indicated it was for St Louis City and County combined, reported $250,000 and one which reported the “St Louis area” was $266,000.  In the case of the latter, my first guess was that they were reporting data for the St Louis MSA but when I checked that the actual sold price in April was only $223,750 so I have no idea where the data came from.  For the former, the $250,000 median price is not only higher than the median price for St Louis City and County, it’s higher than the median price for the whole MSA and while the source is indicated, I’m not sure how this number was arrived at.

So what does it matter?

In the crazy market we are in where buyers are getting in bidding wars to get a home, I think it’s more important than ever to have good, relevant and accurate data available to your agent so your agent can help you make an informed decision.  You ultimately may decide to pay above what you think the current value of the home is but it would help to know what the real value is.  If you look at my chart below for St Louis City and County you’ll see the median price of homes sold in April was $230,000 which is quite different than the $250,000 price and $266,000 I saw reported elsewhere.  Would being $20,000 – $36,000 off on the value matter to you?  I think it might.

So how do I know I’m right?

Well, for starters I’m a data junky and for the past dozen or so years I’ve probably spent, on average about a dozen hours a week or more studying market data for St Louis.  In addition, for the past 6 or 7 years we have worked to develop our own proprietary software to compile and report housing data and are constantly checking and double checking the output.  Finally, we have a very credible source for data, the REALTOR® MLS and we constantly update and check the data.  Put all of this together and while there’s no way to say it’s 100% correct, but I’m confident it’s about as close as you can get.

St Louis Climbs To 5th Highest Homeownership Rate of Major Metros In Q1 2021

The homeownership rate in the St Louis MSA for the first quarter of 2021 was 73.1%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  This is a big jump upward from the 4th quarter of last year when St Louis ranked 23rd on the list.

St Louis 12-Month Home Sales Sets 15-Year Record In February

For the 12-month period ended February 28, 2021, there were 29,402 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County core market.  As the 15-year chart below (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®) shows, this is the highest 12-month sales period in more than 15 years!  Going back to 2006, a historic banner year for real estate, we find that the 12-month period ended March 31, 2006, came in close at 28,797 homes sold, but that’s a little over 2% below our most recent 12-month period.

But, can St Louis home sales keep up this pace?

Having a record-setting period for home sales is great but, practically speaking, it’s hard to sustain a record level for long so typically sales would ease after a record period and settle into a “norm”.  Having been in this business for 40 years, I’ve seen many of these periods and the $64 question is always the same.  How long can it last?  I’m not going to even pretend I have that answer as there are too many variables including the continued impact of the pandemic on the economy and life in general, rising oil and gas prices, rising government debt, and uncertainty about the economy to name just a few.  Oh, and did I mention the lack of inventory?  It’s hard to maintain record sales levels when there are not enough products to sell.

21 Zips In 5-County Core Where Listing Inventory Is More Than Double The Median

If you are in the process of trying to find a home to purchase or have gone through the process in the last couple of years, I don’t need to tell you how low the inventory of homes for sale is.  Currently, in the St Louis 5-County core market, there is less than a one-month supply of homes for sale (0.85 months).

However, within that area, there are 21 zip codes that have a current supply of at least double that, 1.7 months or more.  As the chart below shows, the supply of homes for sale in these zip codes ranges from a high of 9 months in 63115 down to 1.71 months in 63367.  There are a total of 9 zip codes that have a supply greater than triple the median of 0.85 months  (2.55 months+).

COVID-19 Pandemic Driven Serious Mortgage Delinquencies To Highest Levels Since The Great Recession

According to a report just released by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), titled “Housing insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic“, there are over 2 million homeowners that have fallen behind at least three months on their mortgage payments.  This represents a 250% increase from pre-Covid-19 levels and is now at a level we haven’t seen since the height of the Great Recession in 2010.

Homeowners with an FHA mortgage delinquency rates double rate for all loans:

As the chart below shows, homeowners with an FHA mortgage hit a serious mortgage delinquency rate of 10.8% during the 3rd quarter of 2020, with the rate for all mortgages was just under half that at 5.2%.

Serious Mortgage Delinquency Rate By Loan Type- Q1 2005 – Q3 2020

Seroious Mortgage Delinquency Rate By Loan Type- Q1 2005 - Q3 2020

Seven Of the Ten Fastest-Selling School Districts In St Louis MSA are in Outer Ring Counties

As the list below shows, seven of the ten school districts in the St Louis MSA where homes are selling the fastest, are in outer-ring counties, with the remaining three districts being in St Louis County.  This list is based upon the average time it took homes to sell that closed in the past 30 days and Wright City R-II District came in at the top of the list with an average of 14 days for homes to sell.  St Charles County was home to the largest number of the fastest-selling school districts with 4 followed by St Louis County with 3, Warren County with 2, and 1 in Jefferson County.

Ten Fastest-Selling School Districts In The St Louis MSA

(click on the list for a complete and current list)

Ten Fastest-Selling School Districts In The St Louis MSA

St Louis Real Estate Market Update VIDEO – February 2021

The St Louis real estate market has started off 2021 strong, but is a change coming?  Closings of home sales in January were strong with more sales closing than in January of last year, but with everything going and the uncertainty of the economy will it continue?  I address both the current state of the St Louis real estate market, as well as discuss our “leading indicator” data which gives us a glimpse of where the market is headed in the St Louis Real Estate Market Update video you can access below.
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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

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One-Story Homes in St Louis Outsell Two-Story Homes Nearly 3 to 1

I would say for pretty much most of the 40-years I’ve been in the real estate business in St Louis, one-story homes have been popular.  The trend shifted with new homes however as undeveloped ground became more scarce and demand for larger homes grew, which led to two-story homes gaining in popularity.  There are of course other styles, such as 1.5 story homes, 2.5 or 3 story homes, and multi-level homes, but one and two-story are the most plentiful.

One-story homes outsell 2-story homes by nearly 3-1:

As the tables below show, in the St Louis MSA during the past months, there have been 11,898 1-story homes sold, 2.7 times as many 2-story homes sold during the same period.  With 4,380 2-story homes sold this was nearly double the next most popular style, 1.5 story homes of which 2,370 sold.

One-story homes sold the fastest:

The popular 1-story home also sold faster than other styles, taking a median time of just 27 days to sell while 1.5 story homes took 38 days and 2-story homes 32 days.

Two-story homes that sold were the youngest:

The one-story homes that sold were a median age of 54 years, while the median age of the two-story homes was just 31 years.

St Louis MSA Home Styles Sold – Past 6 Months

(click on table for live, current data)

1 -Story HomesSt Louis MSA Home Styles Sold - Past 6 Months   (click on table for live, current data)  1 -Story Homes

1.5 -Story Homes

St Louis MSA Home Styles Sold - Past 6 Months   (click on table for live, current data)  1.5-Story Homes

2 -Story Homes

St Louis MSA Home Styles Sold - Past 6 Months   (click on table for live, current data)  2 -Story Homes

St Louis Real Estate Market Trend For February Down From Last Year

The St Louis real estate market has slowed a little in February thus far.  As the Local Market Trends reports (availably exclusively from MORE, REALTORS® ) show, new contracts written on listings as well as new listings in St Louis 5-County Core market, were down in each of the first two weeks of February both from the prior week as well as from the same period a year ago.

New contracts written (new sales):

As the reports below show, there were 590 new contracts written (new sales)  on homes during the 2nd week of February which was 13% fewer contracts than were written the same week a year ago and  7% fewer than the prior week.

New listings:

As the reports below illustrate, there were 537 new listings of homes during the 2nd week of February which was 9% fewer new listings than during the same period a year ago and 8% fewer new listings than the prior week.

Local Market Trends – New contracts written on homes

(click on report for live, current report)

Local Market Trends - New contracts written on homes  Local Market Trends - New contracts written on homes 

Local Market Trends – New listings

(click on report for live, current report)

Local Market Trends - New listings Local Market Trends - New listings

Home Foreclosure Ban Extended Through End of June – Is this a ticking time bomb?

President Joe Biden on Tuesday extended the ban on home foreclosures for federally backed mortgages until June 30, 2021.  This is the second extension of the ban which was originally set to expire January 31, 2021, but then previously extended by President Biden to March 31, 2021.

Meanwhile, as the chart below shows, serious delinquencies on home mortgages have been on the rise since nearly the beginning of the pandemic almost a year ago.  The ban on foreclosures is certainly a welcome relief to those struggling to make their house payments. However, with such a high delinquency rate one has to wonder if it is just delaying the inevitable and that this is sort of a ticking time bomb for the real estate market?  I say that because with the number of mortgage delinquencies piling up it is safe to assume that once the ban is over there will be a massive amount of foreclosures hitting the market which may very well have a negative impact on the market.

Mortgage Delinquency Rates
Mortgage Delinquency Rates 

St Louis County Home Sales Trend Outpacing New Listings By Larger Margin Then Neighboring Counties

It’s no secret that listings of homes for sale in St Louis are in short supply and for a while now new sales have outpaced new listings making it a challenge for home buyers.  However, over the past couple of months, new sales of homes in St Louis County have outpaced new listings by a greater margin than neighboring counties.  As can be compiled from the tables below, new sales of homes in the St Louis 5-County Core market during the last four months outpaced new listings during the same period by 12.7%.  For St Louis county, there were 6,095 new contracts written during the last 4 months and 5,353  new listings resulting in new contracts outpacing new listings by 13.9%, a rate 1.2% higher than the rate for the 5-county area as a whole.   Franklin County had the next highest rate at 10.7%, then Jefferson County at 9.4%, St Charles County at 5.8%, and then the city of St Louis was the only county where new contracts were about equal to new listings.

St Louis Drops To 23rd Highest Homeownership Rate of Major Metros In Q4 2020

The homeownership rate in the St Louis MSA for the fourth quarter of 2020 was 69.3%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  This is a slight increase from the 4th quarter of the prior year when the homeownership rate in the St Louis MSA was 68.3%.  This puts St Louis 23rd on the list of the 75 largest MSA’s in the country in terms of homeownership, down from 17th on the list during the prior quarter.

St Louis MSA Counties In Missouri Outperforming Illinois Counties

The residential real estate market in counties in the Missouri portion of the St Louis metropolitan area appear to be outperforming the St Louis MSA counties in Illinois, according to the latest New Contracts Report below, exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®.  As the report shows, for the most recent week reported, new contracts written on residential listings were up 14% for the St Louis MSA as a whole from the same week a year ago, but most of the increase in sales was in the Missouri portion of the MSA.  Overall, in the St Louis MSA, there were 105 more new sales in the most recent week vs the same time a year ago and 97 of the increased sales were in counties located in Missouri with the remaining 8 being from counties located in Illinois.

St Louis MSA Counties – New Contracts on Home Listings

(click on report for live report)

St Louis MSA Counties - New Sales on Home Listings

 

 

A 1-Month Or Less Supply Of Homes For Sale Exists in 43 St Louis Zip Codes

For home buyers that have been in the market lately this won’t come as a surprise, but the inventory of homes for sale continues to remain low in St Louis.  In fact, in 43 zip code areas in St Louis, there is a 1 month supply or less of homes for sale.  As the table below shows, the 10 zip-codes in the St Louis core market with the lowest inventory have about 1/3 of a month’s supply or less.  Historically, a 4-6 month supply of homes for sale would be considered “normal”.

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St Louis 5-County Core Market Supply Of Active Listings By Zip Code

(click on the table for the complete, current list)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Supply Of Active Listings By Zip Code

 

St Louis’ Most Expensive School Districts To Buy A Home In

It probably won’t come as a surprise that many of St Louis’ best school districts also have some of St Louis’ most expensive home prices.  As the list below shows, the Ladue School district has the highest-priced homes with the average price for homes sold in the past 12 months at nearly $900,000.  Of the top 10 highest priced school districts, 8 are in St Louis County, one in St Charles County and one in Franklin County.

St Louis 5-County Core’s Most Expensive School Districts

(click on list for complete list)St Louis 5-County Core's Most Expensive School Districts

 

St Louis Has 5 Municipalities Where Average Sold Home Is Over $1 Million

One of the benefits to living in St Louis we often hear about is how affordable it is compared with many other metro areas around the country.  Granted, one of the things that contribute to the “affordability” is the price of homes but that doesn’t mean we don’t have areas with pricey real estate here.  The list below is part of the list showing what the average price homes sold for in every municipality in the St Louis MSA during the past 12 months and reveals the five municipalities where the average home price exceeded $1 Million.

Leading the list is the relatively small, but expensive, Country Life Acres where homes in the past 12 months sold for an average of $1,621.564.

St Louis 5-County CORE Market’s Most Expensive Municipalities

(click on list to see entire current list)

St Louis 5-County CORE Market's Most Expensive Municipalities

 

Top 10 St Louis Area School Districts Where Homes Are Selling the Fastest

As of this morning, the Hancock Place School District and Bayless School District, both in the South St Louis County area, are tied for the district where homes are selling the fastest.  As the Fastest-Selling School Districts in the St Louis MSA list (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®) below shows, homes that sold in the past 30 days in those districts took an average of just 17 days to sell.  Five of the top 10 districts for fast home sales are located in St Louis County, two are in Jefferson County, one each in St Charles County, Warren County, and Madison District 12 in Illinois.

10 Fastest Selling St Louis MSA School Districts

(click on table for full, up to date, list)

10 Fastest Selling St Louis MSA School Districts

 

 

St Louis Home Sales Trending Upward Aggressively

Most residential real estate data is published based upon closed deals meaning the transaction is already in the past and it’s activity may not be reflective of the current market.  This is why at MORE, REALTORS® we developed our leading indicators report that I shared a few days ago and also why we developed a home sale trends chart.  The home sales trend chart, such as the one shown below for the St Louis 5-County Core real estate market, is still based upon closed sales however each monthly data point represents the total of the closed sales in the proceeding 12-months making this a very good indicator of the market conditions and where we are in an improving market or a declining one.

As the chart below shows, for the first 12 months or so in the 25-month period reported, the sales trend was pretty steady, making a flat line on the chart.  Then, around the end of 2019, the trend started increasing slightly through the spring of 2020 (when the impact of COVID-19 hit the market the hardest) and then fell the next few months.  By late summer last year the home sales trend was on the rise and, as you can see, didn’t stop rising through the end of the year.

Will this upward trend continue or will it level off or even decline?  Right now it’s hard to say given all the variables that could affect it.  We have a changing administration in Washington D.C. which could affect the economy, we have the ongoing pandemic and a few other things that could very well affect the residential real estate market.  As I shared in our leading indicators report the other day, the new contract activity is very encouraging so for the short term, I would say the trend will remain around the level it’s at currently.

12-Month Home Sales Trend – St Louis 5-County Core Market

(click on chart for live chart)

12-Month Home Sales Trend - St Louis 5-County Core Market

St Louis Condo Sales Flat In 2020 but Prices Up

Yesterday, I reported that St Louis area home sales and prices were both up about 8% during 2020 from 2019 so today we’ll take a look at how condominium sales and prices compared during the same period.

As the STL Market Report shows (available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®), in the 5-County Core St Louis market there were 3,567 condominiums sold during 2020, 10 condominiums less than the 3,577 condominiums sold during 2019.  The median price of condos sold in 2020 in this St Louis market was $163,900, an increase of 5.74% from 2019 when the median price was $155,000.

The current price trend, as depicted in the report, is up significantly with the median price per square foot of condos that are currently on the market being over 23% higher than the median price per foot of condominiums sold during 2020.  There are currently 417 condos for sale in the St Louis 5-County Core market, representing a 1.30 month supply at the current sales rates.

STL Market Report for the St Louis 5-County Core Market Condos

(Non-distressed condo sales only – click on report for live report)

STL Market Report for the St Louis 5-County Core Market Condos