Slowest Selling Zip Codes in the St. Louis Metro Area

The St. Louis Metro area (MSA), which spans parts of Missouri and Illinois, has a diverse real estate market with some zip codes seeing properties sell slower than others in spite of the low-inventory market we are in. Based upon the report below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, the slowest selling zip code in the St Louis metro area is 63131 in St Louis County, Missouri where the current average days on market for active listings is a whopping 201 days. Next is 62249 in Madison County Illinois with an average of  152 days on the market.Notably, 8 of the top 10 slowest-selling zips are located in Missouri and 4 of those within the city of St Louis.

 

Slowest Selling Zip Codes in St Louis

(click on table for complete list with current data)

Slowest Selling Zip Codes in St Louis

Will the NAR Commission Lawsuit Settlement Change Real Estate Practices in St. Louis?

Since the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the plaintiffs in the following lawsuits—Christopher Moehrl v. The National Association of Realtors et al., Rhonda Burnett (originally Sitzer) v. The National Association of Realtors et al., Dawin Niel Umpa v. The National Association of Realtors, et al., and Don Gibson v. The National Association of Realtors—reached a settlement agreement on March 15, 2024, which is still pending court approval and thus preliminary at this point, the topic has dominated industry conversations. The focus of these lawsuits on buyer’s agent commissions has attracted more media attention since mid-March than it seems to have received in the over 40 years I’ve been in the business before that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying all this attention is bad. In fact, I believe it is beneficial. I’ve long advocated for educating consumers, feeling that the more home buyers and sellers know, the better decisions they can make. This is why I’m rapidly approaching the milestone of 3,000 articles on the topic of real estate in St. Louis on this site.

Now, I don’t do this solely for altruistic reasons; sharing the information and knowledge I’ve gained either through experience or research is also self-serving. As a broker-owner of MORE, REALTORS®, I’ve put forth just as much effort in sharing knowledge with our agents, and I am blessed to be surrounded by real estate professionals who are as eager as I am to increase their knowledge and hone their skills to better serve clients. Here’s the reward for me: informed and knowledgeable consumers seek out better and more professional agents, like the ones we’re in business with, creating a win-win situation.
Having said all that, while the attention from the media is beneficial, unfortunately, there is a lot of incorrect information out there and assertions being made that don’t seem to be based on facts, but rather on opinion. Oh yes, I have opinions too, plenty of them, many of which are shared on this site, but to the extent possible, I try to base them on facts and include the sources of my opinions.


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

Will MLS Access Be Untethered from REALTOR Membership?

In the wake of recent legal developments, including a proposed settlement by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in March addressing buyer agent commissions, the real estate industry finds itself at another critical juncture. This time, attention turns to a lawsuit spotlighted in my article from a week ago, “New Lawsuit Against NAR Spotlights Tying of MLS Access to Realtor Membership in Ongoing Commission Debate“, which challenges the longstanding practice of tying MLS access to Realtor association membership. Unlike the NAR settlement that focused on commission structures, this new legal action delves into the exclusivity of market information access, a matter that has long spurred debate and litigation.

A Recurring Theme in Real Estate Litigation

The intertwining of Realtor association membership and MLS access has been a contentious issue, sparking several lawsuits over the years. This relationship, critics argue, creates barriers to competition and innovation in the real estate market.

Significant Legal Precedents

A pivotal moment in this ongoing discourse was the “Thompson v. Metropolitan Multi-List, Inc. Lawsuit,” where the 11th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 ruled against restricting MLS access to Realtor members in Georgia. This case set a significant precedent, affirming that such practices could violate federal antitrust laws if the MLS wielded “market power” in the relevant geographic market.

Further complicating the landscape, California courts in the late 1970s found similar restrictions in violation of state antitrust statutes, thereby requiring Realtor associations in the state to open their MLS to non-members.

Looking Ahead

As the real estate industry continues to evolve, the relationship between REALTOR® associations and MLS access remains a focal point for legal scrutiny and industry reform. The implications of these legal battles extend beyond the courtroom, potentially shaping the future of real estate transactions, market competition, and consumer choice.

While the NAR settlement and recent lawsuits highlight different facets of the industry’s challenges, they collectively underscore a broader call for transparency, fairness, and innovation in real estate practices.

Conclusion

The dialogue surrounding MLS access and REALTOR® association membership is far from concluded. As legal actions continue to unfold, stakeholders across the real estate spectrum must remain vigilant and adaptable to the changing regulatory and business environment.  At MORE, REALTORS®, we’re keenly aware of these potential shifts and are proactively strategizing to ensure our agents are well-positioned to navigate any changes that may arise. Our focus remains steadfast on providing exceptional service to our clients, irrespective of the evolving industry dynamics. As always, we’re committed to transparency, adaptability, and unwavering professionalism.

 

Fastest Selling Zip Codes in the St. Louis Metro Area

The St. Louis Metro area (MSA), which spans parts of Missouri and Illinois, has a diverse real estate market with some zip codes seeing properties sell much faster than others. Based upon the report below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®
, the fastest selling zip code in the area is 63070 in Jefferson County, Missouri where the current average days on market for active listings is just 12 days. Close behind in second place is 63040 in St. Louis County with 9 listings averaging 15 DOM. Rounding out the top five are 63134 (St. Louis County, 16 DOM), 63038 (St. Louis County, 17 DOM), and 63052 (Jefferson County, 20 DOM). The City of St. Louis makes its first appearance at #9 with 63021 and its 17 listings averaging 27 DOM.

Notably, 8 of the top 10 fastest-selling zips are located in Missouri counties, with just two from the Illinois side of the MSA – 62254 in St. Clair County at #14 and 62035 in Madison County at #15.


 

Fastest Selling Zip Codes in St Louis

(click on table for complete list with current data)

St. Louis 2024 Housing Market: First Quarter Update

As we close the first quarter of 2024, it’s an opportune moment to revisit the forecasts I made at the end of last year regarding the St. Louis real estate market. With the data from January through March now available, we can assess the accuracy of the initial predictions and adjust our outlook for the remainder of the year.

Scorecard on December Predictions:

  • 2024 Home Sales Forecast: I projected a slight decrease in the annual sales volume to about 22,400 homes. The data from the first quarter shows a varied trend with the 12-month home sales at the end of each month being:
    • January: 22,702 sales
    • February: 22,836 sales
    • March: 22,690 sales

These numbers suggest a relatively stable market, albeit with a slight variance from the predicted downward trend. The sales in February exceeded expectations, hinting at a possibly more dynamic market than initially forecasted.

  • 2024 Home Prices Forecast: I anticipated a modest increase in home prices to peak around $196/foot in the summer, followed by a leveling off to approximately $184/foot by year-end. The first quarter showed median prices per foot as follows:
    • January: $175/foot
    • February: $178/foot
    • March: $186/foot

The March figure aligns closely with the expected summer peak. This rapid ascent in prices suggests a stronger upward momentum in the housing market than forecasted, possibly reflecting tighter inventory or increased demand.

Updated Forecast for 2024:
Given the trends observed in the first quarter, I am revising my forecast for the St. Louis real estate market in 2024 as follows:

  • Home Sales: The initial months of 2024 demonstrate a robustness that might offset the predicted decline. While the fluctuation in monthly sales advises caution, the overall stability could mean ending the year closer to 22,700 home sales, slightly above the early prediction.
  • Home Prices: The quicker than anticipated rise in median prices per foot, particularly the jump in March, prompts an upward revision in the price forecast. Should this trend persist, we might see the peak prices approaching $200/foot by mid-year, with a less pronounced decline towards year-end, potentially stabilizing around $190/foot.

A Word of Caution:
As always, this forecast is contingent on prevailing economic conditions, including interest rates and inflation trends. Significant deviations in these or other macroeconomic factors could impact the market differently than expected.

In summary, the St. Louis housing market is showing signs of robust activity and price growth in the first quarter of 2024. Buyers and sellers should stay informed and agile, ready to adjust to the dynamic market conditions.


St Louis 5-County 12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis 5-County 12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend

Court Battle Pits Consumer Savings Against DOJ Objections

The Council of Multiple Listing Services (CMLS), representing over 200 Multiple Listing Services nationwide, has filed a brief supporting the settlement reached between the parties in the lawsuit against MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN). While this is not the settlement announced last week by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), it involves one of the several lawsuits tied to the NAR settlement.

CMLS filed their brief in response to the one filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in February, which opposed the MLS PIN settlement, arguing that it did not go far enough to change existing practices to lower commissions and increase competition. In their brief, CMLS points to data showing that a similar rule change adopted by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS) in 2019 saved homebuyers an average of $1,000 per transaction by reducing buyer agent commissions.

The DOJ has opposed the MLS PIN settlement, asserting that it would not meaningfully benefit consumers. CMLS contends that the DOJ’s analysis is flawed and that its preferred solution – an outright ban on buyer agent compensation – could disrupt the real estate market and harm consumers.

It is doubtful that the judge will make a ruling in the MLS PIN case while the NAR settlement is pending. However, the briefs filed by the DOJ and CMLS in the MLS PIN lawsuit may have an impact on the decision regarding the NAR settlement.


CMLS Amicus Brief

(click to view entire brief)

CMLS Amicus Brief

NAR and MBA Seek Assurance from Fannie Mae and HUD on Commission Practices to Protect Homebuyers

One of the issues receiving significant attention following the announcement of the REALTOR® commission suit settlement is the topic of buyer commissions, specifically regarding whether a buyer has to pay them and how lenders will treat the commissions.

In a recent letter to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac, NAR and MBA sought confirmation on the treatment of buyer agent commissions following a proposed settlement agreement in the Burnett et al and Moehrl et al cases.

What does this mean for homebuyers? Under the settlement, cooperative commissions will no longer be displayed on Multiple Listing Services (MLS), but listing brokers and sellers will still be able to offer compensation for buyer broker services through other means. Additionally, the settlement does not prohibit home sellers from paying buyer agent commissions directly.

NAR and MBA believe that FHA and Government-Sponsored Enterprise (GSE) policies should continue to exclude seller or listing agent payments of buyer agents’ commissions from Interested Party Contributions (IPCs). IPCs are concessions from the seller to the buyer for items traditionally paid by the buyer, such as loan closing costs or rate buy-downs. Maintaining this practice is essential to ensure that the flow of mortgage capital to homebuyers remains uninterrupted.

As a homeowner or potential buyer, it’s important to stay informed about these developments and how they may impact your buying or selling process. NAR and MBA have requested confirmation from the FHFA, FHA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac as soon as possible to prevent any confusion and potential disruptions that may cost you money or even jeopardize your home purchase.


 

The MBA and NAR Letter

(click to view entire letter)

The MBA and NAR Letter 

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


Important Alert for St. Louis Home Sellers: Are You Eligible for a Settlement Claim in the Recent NAR Antitrust Litigation?

Previously, I wrote about the settlement reached by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) aiming to resolve litigation concerning alleged anticompetitive practices, potentially leading to financial compensation for certain home sellers in St. Louis and beyond. This litigation, which centers on claims of inflated commission rates, could see a transformative resolution pending court approval expected by summer. If approved by the court, this settlement, alongside those reached with other corporate defendants like RE/MAX, Keller Williams, Realogy, and Compass, would provide eligible home sellers a pathway to claim financial redress for the commissions paid during the specified periods.

Eligibility Criteria and Key Details:

Moehrl v. NAR Eligibility:

  • Sold a home between March 6, 2015, and December 31, 2020.
  • Utilized a real estate agent or broker affiliated with specific defendants, including Keller Williams, RE/MAX, and Anywhere Real Estate, among others.
  • Paid a commission for the sale listed on a covered Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in certain areas.
  • Filing Deadline: The deadline to submit a claim is May 9, 2025.

Burnett et al. v. NAR Eligibility:

  • Sold a home within the eligible date range specified in the Long Form Notices.
  • Listed the sold home on an MLS in any part of the United States.
  • Paid a commission to any real estate brokerage in connection with the sale.
  • Not restricted to homes sold using agents from Anywhere, RE/MAX, or Keller Williams.
  • Filing Deadline: The deadline to submit a claim is May 9, 2025.

Next Steps for Eligible Home Sellers:

  • Verify Eligibility: Sellers should review the detailed eligibility criteria on the settlement websites to determine if their home sale qualifies.
  • Submit a Claim: To be considered for a payment, eligible sellers must file a claim by the May 9, 2025 deadline. Claim forms are accessible by clicking the links below:
  • Consider Opting Out or Objecting: If you wish to opt out of the settlement, the deadline to opt-out or object to the settlements is April 13, 2024.


Real Estate Commissions: Beyond the Headlines and Hype – What You Need to Know Now

You’ve probably heard about these changes happening with real estate commissions, right? It’s been all over the news lately. You might have seen headlines like “Real estate commissions are being slashed!” or “Selling your house will now be less expensive!” Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? And the media has a great track record, right? Let me tell you, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye.

Even the most informed of us agents and brokers out here are scratching our heads because the lawsuit changed gears so quickly. Nobody really knows exactly how it’s all going to work yet. And those flashy headlines? Well, they’re a bit misleading because the truth is, nobody knows for sure if commissions will go down or up. I can easily make a case for both up and down.

Here’s the deal: if this settlement gets approved by the courts, sellers won’t be able to advertise agent commissions anymore. But they can still offer them, just not in their listing. And for buyers, they’ll have to sign a written agreement with an agent if they want representation—like Missouri License Law has said for over 20 years.

But before you get too excited about saving some cash, there are a few things you should consider. For sellers, allowing your listing broker to offer commissions might still be in your best interest. And buyers, well, going it alone might not be as easy as it sounds. You’ll still have to do all the legwork and negotiations yourself AND the biggest risk in, likely, your largest transaction: you don’t know what you don’t know. Remember, unless the listing agent is hired as a transaction broker, the listing agent represents the seller first and foremost. If they are a transaction broker, they cannot give you advice.

So, while these changes could be a big deal, the reality is, we’re all still waiting to see how it shakes out. If you’re feeling curious or worried about what’s coming, your best bet is to chat with your trusted real estate advisor. They’ll be able to give you the lowdown and keep you in the loop as things progress. And it they can’t, the agents and brokers here at MORE, REALTORS ® certainly can. We’ve been covering this issue since 2019.

Bottom line? Don’t believe all the hype just yet. Real estate, in general, is a wild card. While we’ll just have to wait and see how it all plays out, just know that we here at MORE, REALTORS® have been on top of this issue for years and have been adjusting accordingly. Oh yeah, remember, you can keep your doctor too. 😉


Demystifying Aluminum Wiring for Homebuyers: Insights from Industry Expert Mike Ragan

In a recent informative video, Mike Ragan, a master electrician, and owner of R&M Electric in St. Charles MO, dispels several myths surrounding aluminum wiring, a subject that often causes apprehension among prospective homebuyers in the St. Louis area. With over 18 years of experience specializing in residential wiring and troubleshooting, Ragan brings a wealth of knowledge to the discussion. He offers crucial insights for anyone considering the purchase of a home equipped with aluminum wiring, providing a fresh perspective on what has traditionally been viewed as a potential dealbreaker.

Ragan assures homebuyers, “Aluminum wiring is not necessarily a bad thing,” explaining that “if things are done correctly using the aluminum wiring, that it’s not dangerous.” He addresses the common fear surrounding aluminum wiring, which stems from its susceptibility to oxidation and the associated risks of overheating and fire hazards in older installations from the 1970s. However, he clarifies that with the correct installation and maintenance procedures in place, aluminum wiring is not inherently dangerous. Key to the safe use of aluminum wiring is the application of specific products like deoxidizing agents and the use of aluminum-rated devices, which prevent oxidation and ensure secure connections.

Moreover, Ragan highlights budget-friendly solutions for addressing aluminum wiring concerns, such as aluminum-rated connections or AlumiConn® connectors, whereby “you can significantly save money by going with the connections… less than half the cost by going through and redoing all the connections.” He strongly recommends that buyers considering a property with aluminum wiring engage a licensed electrician familiar with these issues to conduct a thorough inspection, thereby ensuring the wiring’s integrity and compliance with safety standards.

This dialogue not only educates homebuyers about the realities of aluminum wiring but also reassures them that, with proper attention and maintenance, homes equipped with aluminum wiring can be a safe, viable option. He says, “I would have no problem buying an aluminum wired house if the things we talked about were done correctly.” Ragan’s expertise offers practical guidance for navigating concerns related to aluminum wiring, empowering homebuyers to make informed decisions about their potential purchases.


Interview with St Louis Master Electrician Mike Ragan about Aluminum Wiring Concerns

St. Louis Metro Area Shrinks as Residents Flee Urban Core

The St. Louis Metro Area saw a continued population decline according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau estimates, which show the region’s population decreasing from 2,820,285 in April 2020 to 2,796,999 as of July 2023. This represents a loss of 23,286 residents, or a 0.83% decrease over the three-year period.  Looking at the one-year change, the St. Louis MSA population fell by 3,246, or 0.12%, from 2,800,245 in July 2022 to 2,796,999 in July 2023. Despite these decreases, St. Louis maintained its position as the 21st largest MSA nationally from 2020 to 2023.

Drilling down to the county level reveals that the population decline was not evenly distributed across the MSA. St. Louis County, the most populous county in the metro area, saw its population drop from 1,004,305 in April 2020 to 987,059 in July 2023, a loss of 17,246 residents or a 1.72% decrease. The City of St. Louis experienced an even sharper decline, falling from 301,565 to 281,754 over the same period, a decrease of 19,811 or 6.57%.

In contrast, some outlying counties in the MSA saw population growth. St. Charles County, the second most populous county in the region, grew from 405,271 in April 2020 to 416,659 in July 2023, an increase of 11,388 or 2.81%. Jefferson County’s population also increased, albeit more modestly, from 226,569 to 231,230, a gain of 4,661 or 2.06%.

Other Missouri counties in the MSA saw mixed results. Franklin County’s population rose from 104,689 to 106,404, an increase of 1,715 or 1.64%, while Lincoln County saw strong growth, increasing from 59,578 to 64,699, a gain of 5,121 or 8.59%. However, Warren County had a more moderate increase from 35,528 to 37,806, a growth of 2,278 or 6.41%.

In Illinois, the counties included in the St. Louis MSA also experienced population declines. Madison County’s population fell from 269,484 to 266,368, a loss of 3,116 or 1.16%, while St. Clair County saw a decline from 259,686 to 253,292, a decrease of 6,394 or 2.46%. Monroe County, however, remained relatively stable, with a slight increase of 4 residents or 0.02%, from 34,962 to 34,966.

The data shows that the St. Louis MSA’s overall population decline of 0.83% from 2020 to 2023 was driven largely by significant decreases in the core city of St. Louis (-6.57%) and St. Louis County (-1.72%), as well as declines in the Illinois counties of Madison (-1.16%) and St. Clair (-2.46%). While some suburban and exurban counties experienced population growth, such as Lincoln County (8.59%) and St. Charles County (2.81%), it was not enough to offset the losses in the urban core and Illinois portion of the MSA. This pattern of population shifts from urban to suburban/exurban areas within metro areas has been observed in many other regions across the country in recent years.


St Louis MSA Population Change 2020-2023 By County

County 2020 Population 2023 Population Change % Change
St. Louis County, MO 1,004,305 987,059 -17,246 -1.72%
St. Charles County, MO 405,271 416,659 11,388 2.81%
St. Louis City, MO 301,565 281,754 -19,811 -6.57%
Madison County, IL 269,484 266,368 -3,116 -1.16%
St. Clair County, IL 259,686 253,292 -6,394 -2.46%
Jefferson County, MO 226,569 231,230 4,661 2.06%
Franklin County, MO 104,689 106,404 1,715 1.64%
Lincoln County, MO 59,578 64,699 5,121 8.59%
Warren County, MO 35,528 37,806 2,278 6.41%
Monroe County, IL 34,962 34,966 4 0.02%

 

St Louis MSA Population – 1970-Present

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis MSA Population - 1970-Present

 

Zip Codes in the St Louis Metro Area Where Homes Are Selling the Fastest

The St. Louis Metropolitan Area continues to enjoy a fairly fast-paced sellers real estate market, with certain zip codes standing out for selling even faster than the current norm.  According to the report below, available exclusively from MORE, REALTORS®, homes in the top 30 zip codes are selling at an impressive rate, with average days on market ranging from just 2 to 24 days.
Leading the pack is zip code 63049 in Jefferson and St. Louis Counties, Missouri, where homes spend an average of only 2 days on the market. Close behind are zip codes in St. Clair County, Illinois (62258) and Madison County, Illinois (62010), with average selling times of 6 and 7 days, respectively.

Other notable fast-selling areas include zip codes in Warren County, Missouri (63380), St. Louis City, Missouri (63141, 63109, 63147, 63139), and St. Charles County, Missouri (63304, 63385, 63367, 63376). These areas demonstrate the high demand and quick turnover that characterize the St. Louis real estate market.

For buyers, this data highlights the need to act quickly when a desirable property becomes available. Sellers, on the other hand, can take advantage of the fast-paced market to sell their homes efficiently and potentially secure a favorable price.

Understanding the dynamics of these fast-selling zip codes is crucial for anyone navigating the St. Louis real estate landscape. By staying informed and working with experienced professionals, both buyers and sellers can make the most of the opportunities presented by this thriving market.  Want to meet some of St Louis’ finest agents?  Then check them out here.


Fastest Selling Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA

(Click on table below to see current, live and complete list)

Fastest Selling Zip Codes In The St Louis MSA

City Commons: St. Louis’s Emerging Neighborhood Identity

In downtown St. Louis, a significant transformation is taking place, not just in the physical landscape but in the very identity of a burgeoning neighborhood. An ambitious initiative led by a consortium of developers aims to rebrand a key area surrounding the new CityPark, home of the St. Louis City SC, as “City Commons.” This endeavor seeks to establish a distinct identity for the neighborhood, distinguishing it from the broader downtown area. CityPark, a $460 million stadium, along with over $1 billion in surrounding developments, serves as the catalyst for this rebranding effort. The objective is to create a vibrant live-work-play district that encapsulates the essence of community and innovation.

The push to designate this area as City Commons reflects a strategic effort to brand and market the neighborhood as a unique destination within St. Louis. Recognizing the city’s residents’ attachment to neighborhood identities, the developers are harnessing this cultural trait to foster a sense of belonging and pride among locals and visitors. The naming initiative represents more than just a cosmetic change; it’s about crafting a narrative that resonates with the vibrancy and diversity of St. Louis itself. By reimagining the neighborhood as City Commons, the developers are not only aiming to attract investment and development but also to create a cohesive community identity that reflects the area’s renewed purpose and potential.


The Risks of Split Closings in St. Louis: What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know

In the St. Louis real estate market, ‘split closings’—where buyers and sellers close at different title companies—are a common practice. This is in contrast to most parts of the country, where a single title insurance company manages the closing for both parties. Although rare nationally, split closings have become a hallmark of the St. Louis real estate scene.

In a split closing, each title company plays a distinct role. The buyer’s title company is typically responsible for producing the title insurance commitment, ordering buyer-related items (like surveys), and coordinating with the new lender on figures and requirements. Conversely, the seller’s title company takes the commitment from the buyer’s title company and assists the seller in clearing any liens, checking for assessments and specials, and verifying commission and earnest money. Each company then prepares a closing statement for their side, and the two companies reconcile the figures.

Despite being the norm in St. Louis, split closings come with their share of risks and inconveniences. To gain a deeper understanding of these challenges, I consulted Greg Miller, Manager at M&I Title, LLC. He outlined the most common risks and inconveniences stemming from split closings:


Risks and Inconveniences of Split Closings

  • Potential Miscommunication: The division of responsibilities between two title companies can result in crucial information getting lost or misinterpreted. For example, discrepancies in settlement figures or misunderstanding regarding the readiness of documents can cause significant delays.
  • Difficulty in Resolving Issues: On the day of closing, last-minute hurdles such as undiscovered liens, discrepancies in documents, or issues arising from the final walkthrough can be more cumbersome. Each title company may have different procedures for handling these issues, complicating coordination and resolution efforts.
  • Delayed Seller Proceeds: For sellers, this delay means that the proceeds from the sale may not be available on the day of closing. This is particularly problematic for sellers who are relying on these funds to purchase another home simultaneously. The absence of timely proceeds can disrupt the entire chain of transactions, potentially leading to breaches of contract or the need for temporary, and often costly, financial arrangements.
  • Buyer Possession Issues: Buyers, on the other hand, may face delays in gaining possession of their new home. Since a real estate transaction is not considered closed until it is fully funded and the deed has been delivered to the buyer, any delay in these processes means the buyer technically does not own the home. This could result in the buyer being unable to move into their new home as planned, leading to additional costs or complications, especially if they have already vacated their previous residence.
  • Increased Costs: Sellers may face additional fees for closing services, courier charges for document transfers, and possibly higher coordination fees due to the involvement of an additional title company. These costs can vary widely and may also impact buyers if contractually passed on.
  • Wire Fraud Vulnerability: The exchange of sensitive financial information between multiple parties increases the risk of interception by cybercriminals. The complexity of communication can make it easier for fraudulent wire transfer instructions to go unnoticed until too late.

Additional Considerations

  • Privacy Concerns: With two title companies involved, sensitive personal and financial information is shared more broadly, increasing the risk of data breaches or unauthorized access.
  • Complex Coordination for Agents and Lenders: Real estate agents and lenders must navigate communication between two companies, adding complexity to their roles and potentially straining relationships with clients due to unforeseen delays or issues.
  • Risk of Non-Compliance: Each title company may interpret regulatory requirements slightly differently. This divergence can lead to compliance issues, affecting the legality of the closing process and potentially exposing all parties to legal risks.
  • Customer Service Variability: With two companies involved, the level of customer service can vary, potentially leading to a disjointed experience for both buyer and seller. Inconsistent communication or service levels can increase stress and dissatisfaction with the process.

By understanding these expanded issues and additional considerations, professionals and clients in the St. Louis real estate market can better prepare for the complexities of split closings. Strategies such as enhanced communication protocols, clearer contractual agreements regarding responsibilities and fees, and increased vigilance against fraud can mitigate some of these challenges.


 

St. Louis MSA’s Population Dynamics Over 50 Years

As the table and charts below illustrate, the St. Louis Metropolitatn Area (MSA) has undergone significant demographic shifts over the past 50 years, marked by a stark contrast between the population trends in the City of St. Louis and its surrounding counties.

St Louis MSA and Major Counties Population 1970-2022

St Louis MSA Population 1970-Present Table

The decline in the City of St. Louis’s population sharply contrasts with the growth in surrounding counties. During the same period that St. Charles County witnessed a 345% increase and the St. Louis MSA as a whole saw nearly a 60% rise, the City of St. Louis experienced nearly a 70% drop in population.

Over the last 50 years, the St. Louis MSA has undergone significant shifts in its population, characterized by substantial declines in the City of St. Louis and remarkable growth in suburban counties. This trend can largely be attributed to a combination of factors, including urban blight, which is characterized by the deterioration and abandonment of buildings, leading to a diminished quality of life and decreased property values. The escalation of crime rates further compounded the city’s challenges, rendering it less appealing for families and individuals in search of safe, stable environments. Furthermore, governance issues, marked by inefficient public services and policies that failed to effectively address the needs of urban residents, have also contributed to the population decline. These factors, coupled with the allure of suburban living—offering more spacious living conditions, better educational facilities, and a perceived higher level of safety—have propelled the demographic shift away from the city center and towards the suburbs.

St Louis MSA and City of St Louis Population – 1970 – 2022 Chart

(click on chart for live interactive chart)

St Louis MSA and City of St Louis Population - 1970 - 2022 Chart

St Louis Major Counties Population- 1970 – 2022 Chart

(click on chart for live interactive chart)

St Louis Major Counties Population- 1970 - 2022 Chart


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Newly Released Consumer Report Examines Buyer Agency Contracts Citing Unfair Provisions

A report titled “Required Buyer Agency Contracts: Impacts On Home Buyers” was recently released by Stephen Brobeck, Senior Fellow with the Consumer Federation of America. In the introduction, Brobeck states, ‘This report will discuss several aspects of buyer agency contracts – important content, unfair provisions, format and timing, and recommended use by consumers.’ He suggests that state governments or the courts should prohibit certain unfair practices, such as allowing ‘buyer agents to arrange, with listing agents, additional compensation from sellers beyond what is negotiated with buyers,’ stating that such practices could ‘thwart any efforts to sufficiently separate buyer agent and listing agent commissions so that both buyers and sellers can independently negotiate the commissions of their agents.’

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA), and specifically Stephen Brobeck, have been notably critical of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) for some time, so it’s not surprising they have issued this report to sound the alarm on buyer agency agreements. While the CFA is not always critical of NAR or the real estate industry’s practices, my observations over the last few years suggest they often focus on criticizing unfair or unjust practices rather than commending good ones. After all, as a consumer watchdog, it’s likely they spend more time looking for problems to address. Despite my lifelong career in the real estate industry, I also take a hard look at it, always seeking areas for improvement.


I went through the report and here is my summary of the major issues it points out, along with my thoughts on each. My section headings match those in the report for those who want to explore further.

  • Supplemental Buyer Agent Compensation: The report criticizes situations where a listing agent offers a buyer’s agent commission higher than what the buyer’s agent negotiated with the buyer, keeping the difference. It argues this is unfair and that any excess should benefit the buyer, not the agent. In St. Louis, the standard REALTOR® buyer agency contract specifies a “minimum commission” for the buyer’s agent, usually covered by the seller through the listing agent. With upcoming changes potentially prohibiting sellers from offering compensation to buyer’s agents, this dynamic might shift, but currently, it seems less of a concern here.
  • Unreasonable Fees: The report labels “administrative” or “transaction” fees, typically ranging from $200 to $900, as “junk fees” and unjustifiable given today’s high commission rates. My view is mixed. On one hand, I prefer a single, comprehensive charge for services; on the other, a fixed transaction fee could help normalize returns from variable commissions. These fees shouldn’t be blanketly labeled as unfair; total cost for representation should provide fair value, regardless of its structure.
  • Requiring Buyer Acceptance of Dual Agency, Designated Agency, or Transaction Brokerage: The report criticizes agreements that pre-emptively commit buyers to accept a change in their agent’s role to a dual agent, designated agent, or transaction broker. I concur on dual agency and transaction brokerage concerns but not on designated agency, as it doesn’t alter the buyer’s agent role but designates them for a specific client within a firm. In our firm, MORE, REALTORS®, we advise against dual agency and switching to transaction brokerage, emphasizing consistent representation and fiduciary duty.
  • Not Explaining How Conflicts of Interest Involving Other Buyer Clients Are Resolved: The report points out the lack of clarity in most buyer’s agency contracts on how conflicts of interest with multiple buyers interested in the same property are managed. I agree and believe that with industry changes, including buyers directly paying agents, there will be demand for clearer conflict resolution strategies and perhaps exclusivity agreements, provided they are narrowly defined to prevent conflicts without overly restricting the agent’s business.

An upside to the recent litigation spotlighting the real estate industry is the emergence of reports and analyses that, though not always accurate or impartial, spotlight key issues and foster a more transparent environment for consumers. I personally view this shift toward greater transparency and consumer understanding of the real estate process as one of the major benefits of the industry’s forthcoming changes. Better-informed consumers will be equipped to more thoroughly evaluate the qualifications of the agents they choose to work with. This, in turn, will benefit dedicated and professional agents, while naturally filtering out those who lack the necessary knowledge, ethics, or comprehension to thrive in the business.

Facing New Rules: NAR and DOJ Clash Over Buyer’s Agent Commission Policies – What It Means for You

Kevin Sears,
2024 NAR President

At a real estate conference in Boston on February 1, 2024, NAR President Kevin Sears addressed a pressing issue facing the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and its members. Sears candidly discussed the aftermath of a $5.4 billion verdict against NAR, drawing parallels to a sports scenario to highlight the disappointment of a loss despite believing in the righteousness of their policy and actions. He emphasized the importance of moving forward, focusing on the legal appeals process and the ongoing challenges with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has been a persistent adversary for NAR.

Sears detailed the history of NAR’s interactions with the DOJ, including a settled agreement in 2020, which the DOJ later contested, leading to further legal battles. He highlighted a specific case involving MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN) in Massachusetts, which faced a “copycat lawsuit” and encountered DOJ objections to settlement agreements, underscoring the DOJ’s significant influence on the real estate industry’s operations.

Kevin Sears provided a comprehensive overview of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) complex and ongoing interactions with the Department of Justice (DOJ), painting a picture of an enduring legal struggle that has deep implications for the real estate industry. He began by recounting a pivotal moment in 2020 when NAR reached a settlement agreement with the DOJ, a moment that seemed to mark the beginning of a resolution to their disputes. However, this sense of resolution was short-lived as the DOJ later contested the terms of the agreement, reigniting a series of legal challenges that have since persisted.

Sears’ narrative then shifted focus to a more recent and illustrative example of these challenges: the case involving the MLS Property Information Network (MLS PIN) in Massachusetts. This particular case, described by Sears as a “copycat lawsuit,” mirrored the broader issues at stake between NAR and the DOJ. The lawsuit led to a proposed settlement agreement between MLS PIN and the plaintiff’s attorneys, which, in a turn of events characteristic of the DOJ’s recent interventions, faced objections from the DOJ. The federal department’s refusal to endorse the settlement underscored its readiness to closely scrutinize and influence the outcomes of legal disputes in the real estate sector.

Through these examples, Sears emphasized the DOJ’s significant and active role in shaping the operational landscape of the real estate industry. He highlighted the DOJ’s apparent commitment to altering traditional practices within the industry, particularly those related to the compensation of buyer’s agents through commissions offered by sellers. This ongoing legal saga between NAR, its members, and the DOJ not only reflects the complexities of antitrust law in real estate but also signals a potentially transformative period for industry practices and professional relationships.


 

Key Points Made by Kevin Sears:

  • Acknowledged the $5.4 billion verdict against NAR, emphasizing the need to move forward through legal appeals and post-trial motions.
  • Highlighted the longstanding challenges with the DOJ, including a contested settlement and ongoing legal disputes.
  • Discussed the specifics of a lawsuit involving MLS PIN in Massachusetts, illustrating the DOJ’s active role in scrutinizing industry practices and settlements.
  • Stressed the importance of adapting to changes in the real estate industry, particularly regarding how businesses operate and how realtors are compensated.
  • Urged the audience to consider the future of the industry and the necessity of embracing change, whether willingly or as a result of external pressures.

The Impact of Credit Scores on St. Louis Real Estate Decisions

Whether you’re looking to buy or rent a home, your credit score is more than just a number—it’s a gateway to your future residence. A recent survey by LendingTree has shed light on the significant role credit scores play in Americans’ access to financial products, including those crucial for securing a home. Here’s a recap of the findings and their implications for the St. Louis real estate market.

Key Findings:

  • High Denial Rates: 42% of Americans reported their credit scores prevented them from obtaining a financial product in the past year, with this figure soaring to 74% among those with poor credit. For St. Louis residents, this could mean increased challenges in securing mortgages or rental agreements.
  • Credit Cards and Personal Loans: The top products consumers were denied due to their credit scores were credit cards (25%) and personal loans (12%). While not directly related to real estate, these denials can impact one’s ability to consolidate debt or cover moving expenses, indirectly affecting home buying or renting capabilities.
  • Perception of Financial Responsibility: 40% of Americans believe their credit scores do not accurately reflect their financial responsibility. This sentiment is even higher among those with poor credit (60%), millennials (47%), and women (44%). For potential homebuyers or renters in St. Louis, this discrepancy could lead to frustration and barriers in the housing market.
  • Payment History’s Importance: Despite being the most crucial factor in credit score calculations, 50% of Americans are unaware that payment history holds the most weight. This lack of knowledge can lead to missed opportunities for improving credit scores and, by extension, securing better terms for mortgages or leases.
  • Improving Credit Scores: The survey revealed that paying off debt was the primary method for improving credit scores over the past year. For St. Louis residents, understanding and applying this knowledge can be a strategic move towards enhancing eligibility for home buying or renting.


Implications for St. Louis Real Estate:
The survey’s insights highlight a critical barrier to homeownership and renting: the impact of credit scores on financial product accessibility. For St. Louis real estate professionals and potential homebuyers or renters, this underscores the importance of credit education and management as foundational steps towards achieving housing goals.

  • Educational Opportunities: Real estate professionals, such as the Masters of Real Estate at MORE, REALTORS®, can provide valuable guidance to clients on improving credit scores, emphasizing the role of payment history and debt management.
  • Strategic Planning: Understanding the weight of credit scores in financial decisions can help potential buyers or renters in St. Louis develop strategies to improve their scores before applying for mortgages or leases.
  • Market Accessibility: For those with poor credit, exploring alternative financing options or seeking professional credit counseling could open doors to the real estate market that might otherwise remain closed.

In St. Louis, as in the rest of the country, a strong credit score is more than just a number—it’s a key that unlocks the door to future housing opportunities. The recent LendingTree survey provides a basis for understanding the challenges and strategies related to credit scores in the real estate market. By focusing on credit education and management, St. Louis residents can navigate these challenges more effectively, making the dream of buying or renting a home more attainable.

 

2024’s Top Paint Colors: Boost Your St. Louis Home’s Appeal

In 2024, the focus for homeowners is clear: refreshing interiors with colors that offer both a sense of calm and a reflection of personal style. The 2024 Paint & Color Trends Report from FIXr reveals a shift towards warm, earthy tones and nature-inspired hues, designed to transform homes into serene havens. Greens, blues, bright yellows, and deep olives are set to dominate, promising spaces that not only stand out but also provide an escape from the daily grind. This year, it’s all about bringing the tranquility of the outdoors inside, with a nod to personal expression through bold color choices.

The report, a comprehensive guide compiled with insights from top industry experts, serves as a valuable resource for anyone looking to update their home. It underscores the importance of creating environments that are not just visually appealing but also emotionally resonant. For St. Louis residents contemplating a home makeover, this guide offers a wealth of information, from the most sought-after colors to tips on enhancing home value and personal comfort. It’s an invitation to rethink your space, ensuring it reflects the latest trends while catering to your unique taste and lifestyle.

For those interested in exploring the full spectrum of 2024’s paint and color trends, the complete report is accessible below for in-depth review. It’s an essential read for homeowners aiming to infuse their spaces with the year’s most captivating and soothing colors.


2024 Paint & Color Trends Report

(click image below to access complete report in PDF form)

2024 Paint & Color Trends Report

St Louis Metro Area Real Estate Market Report for January 2024 with accurate data you can trust

The St. Louis Metro Area Real Estate Market Report for January 2024, presented below, provides an overview of the St Louis real estate market for each county within the St Louis MSA. This infographic is a unique offering from MORE, REALTORS, which is renowned for its expertise in St. Louis real estate market intelligence. Additionally, our brokerage prides itself on having a team of the most experienced and knowledgeable agents who are deeply committed to serving our clients throughout the St. Louis metro area.

St Louis Metro Real Estate Report for January 2024

(click on infographic for complete report including all counties in the St Louis Metro Area)St Louis Metro Real Estate Report for January 2024

Consumer Confidence in Mortgage Rates Soars, Marking a Positive Shift in Housing Sentiment for 2024

The latest release from Fannie Mae on the Home Purchase Sentiment Index® (HPSI) is particularly illuminating, showing a notable uptick in consumer optimism towards mortgage rates. For the first time since March 2022, the HPSI has climbed to 70.7, a 3.5-point increase driven largely by heightened confidence in job security and an unprecedented share of consumers expecting mortgage rates to dip in the coming year. This optimism isn’t just numbers on a page; it’s a palpable shift in the air, with 82% of respondents now feeling secure in their employment prospects, and an all-time survey high of 36% predicting lower mortgage rates ahead. Yet, despite this optimism, the stark reality remains that only 17% believe it’s a good time to buy a home, underscoring a persistent pessimism around purchasing conditions.


 

Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

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

Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index Chart

St. Louis Housing Affordability Increases Slightly In Last Quarter of 2023

The latest figures from the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index reveal that 70.8% of people in the St. Louis MSA, with a median income of $101,200, could afford to buy a median-priced home. This percentage has seen a slight increase from the 3rd quarter of 2023, when it was 69.3%. As demonstrated in the chart below, this positions St. Louis as the 31st most affordable metro area for home purchases, out of the 242 that were ranked.

St Louis MSA Housing Affordability & National Rank (2014-2023)

St Louis MSA Housing Affordability & National Rank (2014-2023)

Home Ownership Rate in St. Louis Metro Area Fell to Lowest Level in Four Years in 2023

The latest home ownership data from the U.S. Census Bureau for the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) reveals that the ownership rate in the 4th quarter of last year was 69.5%, a decline of over 2 full percentage points from the same quarter in the previous year. The Census Bureau reports home ownership rates on a quarterly basis, and the average rate for 2023 in the St. Louis metro area was 69.5%. This marks the lowest average homeownership rate for St. Louis since 2019, when it was 68.1%. The homeownership rate reached a recent peak in St. Louis in 2021, registering at 73.8%.

 

 

St Louis Metro Area Home Sales Fall to Lowest Level in 9 Years

As 2023 drew to a close, the St. Louis metro real estate market concluded the year with a total of 31,747 homes sold. As highlighted in the chart below, this figure represents the lowest annual home sales in the St. Louis MSA in nine years, since 2014, when the total was 31,531 homes sold.

Home prices in the St. Louis MSA have shown more resilience than sales volumes. As 2023 came to a close, the 12-month median home price per foot stood at $169, marking a 5% increase from the previous year. This trend provides a stark contrast to the sales figures. Over the past nine years, while the number of homes sold initially rose, it eventually reverted to levels seen nine years ago. In contrast, the median price per foot for homes sold has witnessed a substantial increase of over 74%, soaring from $97 per foot to $169 per foot.


12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend For the St Louis MSA For the Past 15 Years

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

12-Month Home Sales and Price Trend For the St Louis MSA For the Past 15 Years

St. Louis Retirement Real Estate: A New Era According to Latest Report

Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New ChoicesIn the St. Louis real estate market, understanding the choices of retirees is crucial. The Merrill Lynch-Age Wave report, “Home in Retirement: More Freedom, New Choices,” offers valuable data-driven insights. It reveals a significant shift in retirees’ housing preferences, with a focus on lifestyle-driven relocation rather than just downsizing.

Key Insights:

  • Renovation Trends: Retirees are increasingly focusing on home renovations to improve comfort and safety. This trend is driven by the desire to age in place comfortably, adapting their living spaces to suit changing mobility and health needs, as well as to accommodate visits from family and friends.
  • Financial Stability through Homeownership: The report indicates that home equity is a significant aspect of retirees’ financial security. Many retirees own their homes outright, providing a stable financial base and the possibility of leveraging this equity for additional income or security in retirement.
  • Community and Location Preferences: Retirees show a growing preference for living in age-specific communities or areas with desirable amenities and climates. This shift is influenced by the desire for social interaction with peers, access to health care and recreational activities, and the appeal of living in a more comfortable and suitable environment for their lifestyle needs.

At MORE, REALTORS®, we recognize the unique real estate needs of the senior market in St. Louis. Our team includes several agents specialized in this sector, having undergone extensive training to acquire specialized designations such as Certified Senior Advisor® (CSA), Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES), Certified Senior Housing Professional, and Certified Downsizing Coach. These qualifications equip us to offer tailored services and advice to retirees, ensuring they make informed decisions that align with their lifestyle, comfort, and financial goals. Our expertise positions us as a trusted partner for seniors navigating the St. Louis real estate market.

For a complete understanding of these trends, the entire report is available for review.


 

 

Exploring the 2024 Rental Affordability Report: Insights for the St. Louis Real Estate Market

Today, ATTOM released its ‘2024 Rental Affordability Report,’ presenting a comprehensive analysis of the current state of home rental and ownership in the United States. The report indicates that renting a median three-bedroom home is more affordable than owning a similarly-sized property in nearly 90% of the U.S. markets. This trend continues despite rents growing faster than home prices. A significant finding for our industry is that both renting and owning pose substantial financial burdens on average workers, consuming over a third of their wages in most county-level housing markets.

Data for St. Louis County is consistent with the report.

Since the report covered only counties with a population of 1 million people or greater, St. Louis County was the sole county from our area included.  The report highlights that in St. Louis County, MO, renting remains more affordable compared to owning. This reflects the national trend, with median three-bedroom rents requiring only 24% of average local wages compared to higher percentages for home ownership costs. It’s worth noting that the affordability gap between renting and owning in St. Louis County is much narrower than in many counties in the U.S., particularly coastal areas.

Things may change soon though based upon trends shown.

The report reveals that in 2024, median rents for three-bedroom homes have risen more than single-family home prices in a majority of counties. This indicates a shift in the rental market dynamics, emphasizing the growing challenge for renters in finding affordable housing.


Rent vs. Wage Growth

An alarming trend noted in the report is that median three-bedroom rents are increasing faster than average local wages in over half of the markets analyzed. This disparity is a crucial factor contributing to the affordability crisis, as it indicates that wage growth is not keeping pace with rising housing costs.

Buying a Home: Long-Term Certainty vs. Short-Term Instability.

For those who have been following my articles over the past few years, I hope you’ve realized that I don’t blindly advocate for homeownership. I recognize that owning a home isn’t the best choice for everyone. In many cases, renting a home or an apartment is a better fit. However, considering the details in this report, it’s clear why buying a home can be advantageous for those in a position to do so. It offers the long-term certainty of fixed costs, contrasting sharply with the volatility of the rental market. This contrast is especially pertinent in light of the report’s findings that rent increases are outstripping wage growth.

Understanding Your Real Estate Options

At MORE REALTORS®, we pride ourselves on having a team of some of the most skilled and professional real estate agents in the St. Louis area. Our agents are dedicated to providing informed guidance tailored to each individual’s needs. Whether you’re considering buying or leasing, we’re here to offer insights and assistance based on your unique situation. For more information about our agents and the services we offer, please visit morerealtors.com. Alternatively, you can contact me directly at Dennis@STLRE.com, and I’d be happy to connect you with one of our knowledgeable real estate professionals.


St Louis Metro Area Real Estate Market Report for December 2023 with accurate data you can trust

The St. Louis Metro Area Real Estate Market Report for December 2023, presented below, provides an overview of the St Louis real estate market for each county within the St Louis MSA. This infographic is a unique offering from “MORE, REALTORS, which is renowned for its expertise in St. Louis real estate market intelligence. Additionally, our brokerage prides itself on having a team of the most experienced and knowledgeable agents who are deeply committed to serving our clients throughout the St. Louis metro area


St Louis Metro Real Estate Report for December 2023

(click on infographic for complete report including all counties in the St Louis Metro Area)St Louis Metro Real Estate Report for December 2023

Real Estate’s Game Changer: Decoding the Latest Twists in the Sitzer Saga

Since the suit was first filed in 2019, I’ve been following the the Sitzer v. National Association of REALTORS® case closely and sharing my thoughts on the potential impact it could have on the real estate industry, as well as on home buyers and sellers. This task has been far from dull, as the litigation has been filled with action, especially since the Missouri jury’s ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in October. The past week has seen an increase in legal activity from the defendants, making the situation even more intense. Below is a breakdown of the latest events and their implications, from my perspective (bear in mind, I’m not an attorney, just a real estate broker):


Key Motions Filed:

  • National Association of Realtors Seeks a New Trial: This motion contests the fairness of the original trial, highlighting potential procedural and evidentiary errors that might have skewed the jury’s decision.
  • Calls for Judgment as a Matter of Law: Various defendants, including Keller Williams and BHH Affiliates, have challenged the verdict based on the argument that it contradicts the evidence presented. They point to possible legal oversights, such as flawed jury instructions.
  • Questioning the Class Action Status: A notable move by BHH Affiliates and HomeServices of America, this motion disputes the class action’s suitability, arguing that individual differences overshadow commonalities crucial in such lawsuits.

Analyzing the Legal Landscape:

  • The Frequency of Post-Verdict Motions: In complex cases like this, it’s quite typical for defendants to pursue motions for a new trial or a judgment reversal. These legal steps, while common, underscore the high stakes involved, especially in a sector as impactful as real estate.
  • Prospects of These Motions: Historically, the success of such motions varies. They can occasionally lead to new trials or judgment alterations. However, overturning a jury’s decision is often a challenging hill to climb, given the U.S. legal system’s respect for jury findings. These motions are more likely precursors to an appeal.
  • Real Estate Industry at a Crossroads: The decisions on these motions are critical. Their outcomes could prompt significant changes in how real estate transactions are conducted, especially regarding agent commissions and competitive practices.

What Does This Mean for Home Buyers and Sellers?

Now, you might be wondering, “All this legal talk is great, but how does it affect me as a home buyer or seller?” Well, I have some thoughts on that as well:

  • Changes in Commission Structures: The heart of the Sitzer case is about how real estate commissions are handled. Depending on the outcome, we might see a shift in how agents are paid. This could mean more flexibility or different options when it comes to commission rates.
  • Increased Transparency: The case also touches on transparency in real estate transactions. We could be looking at a future where there’s more clarity on how agents operate, which means you, as a buyer or seller, would have a clearer picture of what you’re getting into.
  • Potential for More Competitive Pricing: If the verdict leads to changes in how commissions are structured, this could open the door for more competitive pricing in the real estate market. It could mean better deals for buyers and more options for sellers.

In short, this trial isn’t just about big real estate companies; it’s about potentially changing the playing field for everyone involved in buying or selling a home. It’s about making sure that the process is fair and transparent for you, the consumer. So, stay tuned – the decisions made in this courtroom could be game-changers for how we buy and sell homes.

Compilation of Motions Filed In The Past Week in Sitzer v NAR

(click below to access the document containing all the motions filed)

Compilation of Motions Filed In The Past Week in Sitzer v NAR