CDC Issues Order Halting Residential Evictions Through Year-End

Yesterday, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced the issuance of an order temporarily halting all residential evictions in the United States through December 31, 2020.  The CDC indicated this action was being taken “to prevent further spread of COVID-19”.

Details of the order….

Under the order, a landlord or other owner of residential property, “shall not evict any covered person from any residential property in any jurisdiction to which this Order applies during the effective period of the Order.”  So, it’s pretty simple, if you own a residential property in the U.S. that has a tenant in it, this order applies to you.  The only exception is the American Samoa, which, at the time of the order, had not cases of COVID-19 reported.

Tenants are still obligated for rental payments…

The order makes it clear that it does not remove the tenant’s obligations to pay rent, nor the landlord’s ability to charge late fees, penalties, etc.  Specifically, the order states:  “This order does not relieve any individual of any obligation to pay rent, make a housing payment, or comply with any other obligation that the individual may have under a tenancy, lease, or similar contract. Nothing in this Order precludes the charging or collecting of fees, penalties, or interest as a result of the failure to pay rent or other housing payment on a timely basis, under the terms of any applicable contract.

Tenants must submit a declaration form to take advantage of this protection…

According to the order, for a tenant to receive the protection under this order, an executed copy of a Declaration form must be submitted to their landlord, owner, or property manager.

See the entire order here.

Download the Declaration Form for tenants here.

Home Sales Data In St Louis Reveals The Impact Of COVID-19

After the COVID-19 pandemic hit St Louis and greatly curbed real estate activity back in March and April, the market was quick to recover and has come back in a pretty robust way. The impact is starting to show more though in home sales in the year-over-year and year to date numbers, however.  As our STL Market Report for the St Louis MSA below shows, for the 12-months ended June 30, 2020, there were 36,657 homes sold throughout the St Louis metro area, a decline of just over 1% from a year ago when there were 37,040 homes sold during the same period.

STL Market Report- St Louis MSA

(click on report for live, current report)

STL Market Report- St Louis MSA

St Louis Home Sales Trending Downward…

Continue reading “Home Sales Data In St Louis Reveals The Impact Of COVID-19

New Sales Of Listings Last Week In St Charles County Up Over Thirty Percent From Last Year

COVID-19 who?  While it’s still around, it’s impact on the St Louis real estate market has dissipated to the point that we are seeing activity at levels higher than this time last year.  For example, as the report below shows, there were 1,245 new sales of residential listings in the St Louis MSA last week, an increase of 10 percent from the same time a year ago.  St Charles County was the county with the second-highest number of sales with 217 for the week which was a 32% increase from a year ago!  St Louis County, the county with the most home sales in the St Louis MSA had 435 sales, a slight increase above 432 a year ago.

New Contracts On Residential Listings – St Louis MSA

For the Week Ended June 13, 2020

New Contracts On Residential Listings - St Louis MSA 

Data Source: MARIS – Copyright 2020, MORE, REALTORS All Rights Reserved

St Louis Housing Market Stays Steady In Spite of COVID-19

The St Louis real estate market slowed when the effects of COVID-19 hit the St Louis area in early March but after continuing at a slower pace for a few weeks has quickly shifted gears to a faster pace.  The St Louis market has improved to the point that, for the 12-month period ended May 31, 2020, St Louis home sales were down just 1.84% from the prior 12-month period.  The median price of homes sold during the past 12-months was $213,000, an increase of 6.55% from the prior period.

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales and Prices

Past 12 Months vs Year Ago

(click on the table below for live report)

St Louis 5-County Core Market Home Sales and Prices  Past 12 Months vs Year Ago

Showings Of Listings In St Louis Last Week Over 12 Percent Higher Than Year Ago

COVID-19 lingers on but the real estate market in St Louis has made a quick recovery from the negative impact it had on the market.  The data supports the idea that home buyers are tired of waiting for everything to come back to “normal” (or whatever variation of normal the new normal is) and have been out looking at and buying homes.  This is evidenced by the chart below which depicts showings of listings this year and compares each 7-day period with the year before.  As you can see, showings this year (the orange line) we down, significantly from last year during the worst of the pandemic, but have rebounded to the point where last week’s showings topped the year before by over 12%!

St Louis Area Showings Of Listings

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis Area Showings Of Listings

New Sales Of Residential Listings In St Louis In Past 7 Days Almost Back To Last Years Numbers

While COVID-19 has not released it’s grip on us, it has eased the grip and certainly, this is true with regard to the St Louis real estate market. As I’ve written about recently, showings of listings have increased to the point they have outpaced the same time as last year and now, the number of new contracts on listings is just about there as well!

As the table below shows, the number of new contracts on residential listings in the last 7 days that have been reported is, for the St Louis MSA, down just 3% from the same time last year and for the St Louis County Core market, down just 6%.  Jefferson County has actually seen sales that top the same period last year by 24%.

St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The Past 7 Days

St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The Past 7 Days

More Showings of Listings In St Louis Last Week Than Year Ago

As the St Louis real estate market continues to distance itself from the effects of COVID-19 and the resulting stay at home orders and business shutdowns, I continue to see market activity that is encouraging.  For example, as the chart below shows, for the most recent week, reported (through last Thursday) the showing activity on listings in St Louis and surrounding areas were at a level that is 3.9% higher than for the same period last year. This is a huge rebound since showings hit bottom in the middle of the lock-down on April 9th and fell to a level that was barely half of the year before.

St Louis Area Showings Of Listings

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis Area Showings Of Listings 

 

St Louis Real Estate Market Continues To Rebound From The “COVID-19 Effect”

As the St Louis area slowly moves toward starting to come back to life, so to speak, the St Louis real estate market continues to heat up!  After getting a gut punch from the COVID-19 pandemic, which I now refer to as “The COVID-19 effect”, the St Louis market has been steadily making a come back. As the table below shows, the total number of new sales of residential listings last week for the St Louis MSA as a whole was down just 6% from the same time last year, and down just 10% for the 5-County core St Louis market.  In fact, Jefferson County and Franklin County both saw more sales last week than at the same time a year ago!

St Louis Area New Contracts On Residential ListingsSt Louis Area New Contracts On Residential Listings

Data source: MARIS – Copyright© 2020 St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

 

 

We’re Back! (Showings that is…)

I may be jumping the gun just a little, but showing activity on residential listings during the past week is just about back to where it was this time last year when there wasn’t a COVID-19 pandemic!  As the chart below illustrates, the weekly average for showings through May 8th is just down a little over 2% from the same time last year and is up 40% from the first week of January this year.

Showing Activity For St Louis and Surrounding Market Areas

(click on the chart for a live, interactive chart)

Showing Activity For St Louis and Surrounding Market Areas

 

St Louis Home Sales YTD On Pace With Last Year In Spite of COVID-19

Through the end of April, there have been 7,146 homes sold in the St Louis 5-County Core Market, nearly exactly the same as last year when there were 7,153 homes sold. In spite of the challenges caused by Covid-19, including the stay at home orders, over the past 7 weeks, the residential real estate market has managed to fare ok.

The trend is not looking so good though…

One thing to keep in mind is the date I just referenced is somewhat a historical look at the market since we are talking about closings of sales and not new sales.  For example, many of the closings that took place in April were likely sales that took place prior to when the “COVID-19 effect” started in St Louis, which was around March 10th.

The darker green line on the chart below reflects the home sales trend for the St Louis market, with each data point reflecting the prior 12-months home sales.  You will notice the trend line takes a significant drop in April.  If you look at last year, the trend line took a dip in April as well but had declined the month before also.  As I’ve reported over the past few weeks, new sales, while they have made a significant recovery, have been down as much as 35% or so from last year, so we’re likely to see the trend remain downward at least in the short term.

St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD Home Sales and Home Sales Trend For Past 25-Months

(Click on chart for live, interactive chart)
St Louis 5-County Core Market YTD Home Sales and Home Sales Trend For Past 25-Months

 

 

St Louis New Listings Down Nearly Double What Sales Are From Last Year

Prior to COVID-19, there had already been a shortage of residential listings for sale in many areas and price ranges through St Louis going back a couple of years.  However, the problem may be getting worse as we are continuing to see new sales of residential listings in St Louis picking up the pace to the point that they are down just 16% from the same time a year ago but, new listings in the St Louis MSA are down 30% from the same time a year ago.

Since we started with a low inventory and now have the sales rate outpacing the listing rate, we are probably going to see an even tighter supply of homes for sale for at least the near future.  As our table below shows, there are some areas where this is even more pronounced, such as St Charles County where the number of new sales of residential listings for the most recent 7-day period is down just 3% from a year ago but new listings during the same period are down 37%.

St Charles County down to less than 2-month supply

As our tables at the bottom shows, currently, there is just a 1.97 month supply of homes for sale in St Charles County and, if we look at the “sweet-spot” of homes priced in the $150,000 – $300,000 range, there is an inventory of just 1.04 months.  If you own a home in St Charles County and have thought about selling, contact us now and let us show you how to leverage this market in your favor whileit lasts.

St Louis Area Showings Of Listings On The Rise

Showings of real estate listings in St Louis fell dramatically after the COVID-19 outbreak and hit levels that were about half of what they were the same time last year during the first half of April.  Since hitting the low point on April 12th, showings have, as the chart below shows, increased sharply to the point where they are only down 15% from the same time last year.  Given that home buyers are much more open to virtual showings and hesitant to look at a home in person without thoroughly vetting it online, resulting in fewer showings per sale, this decline is really not bad at all.

St Louis metro area along with other markets served by MARIS

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

St Louis metro area along with other markets served by MARIS

 

 

Showings of listings in St Louis On The Rise

Yesterday, I wrote about how St Louis home sales were on the rebound based upon the latest contract data which showed the number of new contracts on listings in the St Louis MSA had declined by just 16% from the same time a year ago.  The question is, will that trend continue?  Well, a very good, and reliable, leading-indicator of home sales is home showings, and, as the chart below shows, showings of listings in the St Louis MSA has been on the rise over the past two weeks.  As of yesterday, showings were down just 17.7% from the same time last year for the St Louis MSA.  This would suggest that, absent something happening to disrupt it, the home sales trend I reported yesterday may continue.

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Showings Of Listings in the St Louis metro area

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

Showings Of Listings in the St Louis metro area 

St Louis Home Sales On The Rebound In Spite of COVID-19

Maybe it’s the gorgeous weather, a more optimistic outlook after receiving stimulus payments or perhaps just being tired of waiting in limbo, but homebuyers have come out strong in St Louis during the past week!  St Louis home sales are still not at the levels we would expect at this time of year but, as my table below shows, for the St Louis MSA as a whole, the most recent 7-day period is down just 16% from the same time last year.  This is about half the decline I’ve seen when pulling the data as recently as a week ago.

St Charles County home sales have come back the strongest with 185 homes sold during the 7-day period from 4/14 through 4/21, just 12% less than the same period last year and the city of St Louis is next with a decline of just 14%.  Franklin County is struggling the most with just about half as many home sales as last year.

As I wrote yesterday, with low-interest rates and the buying opportunities out there, now is a great time to buy for those that are able.  Wow, now that I think about it, maybe that’s the reason home sales are increasing, people are listening to me LOL.

St Louis New Residential Home Sales April 14 – 21 – (Table)

St Louis New Residential Home Sales April 14 - 21 - (Table)

Date Source: MARIS – Copyright 2020 St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

Mortgage Interest Rates Expected To Continue Falling Until Hitting 2.9 Percent Next Year

Fannie Mae issued their monthly housing forecast for April which includes, among other data, a forecast of what mortgage interest rates will be in the coming months.  Last months forecast had projected that mortgage rates would continue to decline moving forward but only to a low of 3.1% before the end of 2021 while the April forecast predicted the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage would fall to 2.9% in the 2nd quarter of 2021 and stay there through the balance of the year.

If you’re able, now’s the time to buy!

While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as job loss, is going to take some would-be home buyers out of the market, for those that are still able to buy, now is a great time to buy a home.  There are many factors that play in favor of buyers today, such as the fact that there are about 1/3 fewer of them (buyers in the market) now than this time last year, sellers that want to have fewer people coming through their homes and interest rates.  As our chart below shows, not only are rates low now, they are projected to go much lower even.

Why not wait until next year when the rates hit their lowest?

Good question, but there are several reasons not to wait.  First off, the rates shown on my chart are “projections”, or to put it another way “an educated guess”, so there is no guarantee rates will actually come down as predicted.  In addition, once the stay at home orders go away and we start moving back to something closer to normal, I anticipate there will be a flood of buyers to the market which, along with lower interest rates (if that happens) will likely drive home prices up.  So, for buyers that are able, they may get a better buy today, with less competition, still get a good interest rate and then if rates do fall as predicted can easily refinance to take advantage of lower rates.

Fannie Mae Mortgage Interest Rate Forecast April 2020 (Chart)

Fannie Mae Mortgage Interest Rate Forecast April 2020 (Chart)

Data source: Fannie Mae – Copyright ©2020 St Louis Real Estate News, all rights reserved

Showings of St Louis Listings Increase Forty-Two Percent Since Low 8 Days Ago

Showings of listings for sale in the St Louis metro area started to decline on March 10th after COVID-19 hit our area and stay at home orders followed.  As the chart below shows, the number of showings, compared to the same period last year, continued to fall until hitting the bottom on April 12th.

By the time showings hit rock bottom, they had declined to a level equal to about 25% fewer showings than during the first week of January this year and nearly 50% fewer showings than the same time last year. However, since hitting bottom on the 12th, showings have increased 42% to the current point which is 7% higher than the first week of January and down just about 19% from the same time last year.

Showings in St Louis metro area along with other markets served by MARIS

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Showings in St Louis metro area along with other markets served by MARIS

The COVID-19 Impact On The St Louis Real Estate Market – One Month In

The COVID-19 pandemic (coronavirus) began impacting the St Louis area just a little over a month ago and I’ve been tracking the impact on the St Louis real estate market along the way.  From the outset, we have seen a decline in the number of new listings, new sales and physical showings of listings, however, overall the decline has remained fairly constant.  New sales of listings for the St Louis area has pretty well hovered around a level equal to about tw0-thirds of the activity we saw at the same time last year.

Now that we are about a month into the “COVID-19 effect”, a few weeks into the stay at home orders and a few weeks into real estate agents adjusting to doing business in a different way, I wanted to take an in-depth look to see where we stand now.  I’ll warn you in advance, this article is a little long, mainly because of tables and data, but I wanted to include as much data as I could to paint the complete picture of the market.

The IRS Extends Time-Frame To Complete Exchanges and Opportunity Zone Rollovers

Last night, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance to extend the time permitted to complete a like-kind exchange or rollover into an Opportunity fund.  While the actual IRS notice has not been issued yet (I’m guessing it will come out today) and that will contain more specifics, below are highlights of the relief that is being granted to real estate investors by the IRS as a result of COVID-19:

  • 1031 Like-kind exchange – If an investor is in the midst of 1031 exchange and has already sold the property they owned and the 45-day period to identify the replacement property or the 180-day period to close on the replacement property falls between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020, the deadline will be extended to July 15, 2020.
  • Opportunity zone – If an investor has sold a capital asset and plans to roll over the gain from it into a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund and the 180-day deadline to do so falls between April 1, 2020, and July 15, 2020, the deadline to cmplete the investment will be extended to July 15, 2020.

As I mentioned, the IRS will likely issue written guidance today with more details.  When that happens, I’ll update this post with any pertinent information that it contains.

St Charles County Home Sales Down Just 25 Percent From Year Ago

Yesterday, I shared data showing that, in spite of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic,  new sales of residential listings in the 5-county core St Louis market for the most recent 7-day period that complete data is available for,  were down 35% from a year ago.  I received requests to break the data down further so I did so by county.  As the table below shows, for the 7-day period ended April 2nd, new sales of listings in St Charles County were down just 25% from the prior year.  The reason the period ends April 2nd is REALTORS® has 3 business days to report new sales to the MLS so that means the deadline for reporting a new sale on April 2nd was last night so this data should be very accurate.

St Louis New Sales Of Residential Listings

3/26/20 – 4/02/20 Vs. One-Year Ago

St Louis New Sales Of Residential Listings - 3/26/20 - 4/02/20 Vs. One-Year Ago
Data source: Mid-America Regional Information Systems, Inc. – Copyright 2020 -has St Louis Real Estate News

St Louis Home Sales Continue In Spite of COVID-19 Albeit at a lower level

As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic continues to keep many of us confined to our homes unless we need to go out for an essential service which, fortunately, the department of Homeland Security includes real estate in the definition, it is, of course, taking its toll on the St Louis real estate market.  As would be expected during a time like this, would-be homebuyers who have had their jobs or businesses impacted as a result of COVID-19 have pulled out of the market for now as have some folks who were considering a move purely for convenience or some other reason they feel will wait.

However, having said that, there still appear to be many serious homebuyers in the current market that want or need, to buy now.  This is evidenced by the most recent data I pulled below which shows new contracts on listings for the most recent 7 day period that have had contracts reported to the MLS.  So, to be clear, the “sales” I counted are residential listings that actually went under contract during the period,

As the table below shows, there were 994 new contracts on residential listings in the St Louis MSA during the past 7 days, a decline of 32% from the same time period a year ago.  There were 715 new contracts on residential listings in the St Louis 5-County Core market during the same period, a decline of 35% from the same period a year ago.

Sell Your Home For The Highest Price In The Least Amount of Time!  See how- STLSellersAdvantage.com 
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St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The 7 Day Period of 3/26 – 4/02

St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The 7 Day Period of 3/26 - 4/02

COVID-19 has led to different methods of selling homes…

Today, real estate companies, like other businesses are trying to do business virtually and incorporating technology into their business more than ever before.  While some were already doing this, at least to some extent, it’s something that is new for many traditional “brick and mortar” type businesses.  (WARNING- SHAMELESS PLUG COMING) Doing business virtually isn’t anything new to our firm, MORE, REALTORS, or our agents as we have incorporated this into our business model for well over a decade.   It has caused us to switch into high gear to complete enhancements to our DOHR™ (Digital Open House Registration, U.S. Patent Pending) which include a totally virtual open house experience, a virtual showing experience as well as a hosted virtual tour experience. These are all things that will allow us to serve our seller clients by exposing their homes to the market, showing them to potential buyers while also protecting them and their families from exposure to the COVID-19 threat.

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

  

 

 

Is Real Estate Essential?

Need I answer?  Given the title of this site and if you have been here before you probably are aware I’ve been in the real estate business ever since graduating high school some 41 years ago, I’m going to guess you know I’m going to say “of course it is”.  On a more serious note though, my headline poses the question in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic which has resulted in a stay at home order for several counties in Missouri and, effective tomorrow night at midnight, the entire state of Missouri.

One of the exceptions in all of the stay at home orders has been for people working in “essential services” which in some of the orders is defined in detail and others in a more general fashion.  In determining whether a business is essential there are many easy ones to figure out such as anything related to the medical or health industry, public safety, sanitation, etc.  However, when it comes to other businesses such as those related to residential real estate such as agents, appraisers, home inspectors, loan officers, etc, it’s not always so clear.  Locally, within the St Louis area whle real estate may not have been named specifically as an essential service, after legal review and discussion within the industry, it has been determined that real estate activities do in fact fall within the definition of essential services.

State of Missouri Stay at Home Order allows for real estate activities…

The stay at home order issued by the State of Missouri allows an exception for essential services but instead of defining what is included in those services, it defers to the guidance issued by the U.S.Department of Homeland Security.  Included in the guidance as “essential functions” are “residential and commercial real estate services, including settlement services.”

Safety first…

Throughout the real estate industry, there has been much attention given to what functions can be safely done if CDC and other health and safety guidelines are adhered to, such as private showings of homes, and which ones should not be done such as a traditional open house with groups of people coming through.  With these practices in place, along with utilizing technology for things such as virtual showings, agents have been able to serve their buyer and seller clients and facilitate sales.

Why it’s important…

I believe the inclusion of real estate activities as essential makes sense.  For one, we are talking about a large segment of the population that is all, for the most part, small businesses as each real estate agent are their own business.  They don’t get paid if they can’t carry out their real estate business, there are no salaries for agents. In addition, it’s not just the agents, it’s all the other professions involved in the transaction, building inspectors, lenders, title companies, survey companies, warranty companies, home repair, staging, movers and so on.  So if we shut down residential real estate entirely we are shutting down a huge part of our economy and likely putting a ton of small businesses out of business.

Also, it’s more than just the livelihood of those involved.  While some buyers are going to retreat from the market for now and wait until later, there are others that have reasons they need to move and want to buy.  For example, there are still people getting married, moving into or out of town for a job, have growing families or other needs or motivations causing them to want to move now.  For sellers, some may prefer to wait but for others, particularly those suffering financially from a job loss or business closing may be under the gun to get their home sold and really can’t wait.

So, just like workers in other essential services that are there to provide those needed services to their customers and clients, real estate agents are here to do the same for those people that do need to transact business during these challenging times.

 

 

How Mortgage Forbearance Works Under CARES ACT (Video)

Yesterday, I shared information about forbearance options available to borrowers with an FHA loan that has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Today, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau released a very informative video titled “CARES Act Mortgage Forbearance: What You Need to Know” which is below.  This video contains a great explanation of what forbearance is, how it works and how to request it on your mortgage.


Showings Of St Louis Area Listings Trending Upward

While, rightly so, health concerns remain on the minds of home buyers, sellers, and agents, with safety practices in place, the real estate market in St Louis still has activity.  Granted, as you would expect, the activity is at a reduced rate, but there are still people that want, or even need, to buy or sell a home.  In fact, the economic downturn as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic has put some additional pressure on sellers who have been negatively affected.

One of the things I’ve been watching to track activity in the market are showings of homes.  As the chart below shows, showings are down significantly from the same time last year (currently 42.8%) however, as the table below illustrates, the showing trend has increased over the past 3 days.  Showings hit bottom on March 28th when they were down 45.0% from a year ago and since then have regained some ground.  One thing to keep in mind is part of the decline is a result of “casual lookers” going by the wayside as the only people looking at homes today are serious home buyers.  In addition, alternatives to physical showings are  being developed to allow real estate transactions to continue with less physical contact between people.  For example, our firm, MORE, REALTORS, is launching a virtual open house online platform as well as a virtual showing online platform that will deliver an enjoyable, and safe, user experience for the buyer and will allow us to continue to safely serve sellers.

Showings of Listings In The St Louis MSA and Surround Area – Comparision to Last Year-Table

Showings of Listings In The St Louis MSA and Surround Area - Comparision to Last Year-Table

Showings of Listings In The St Louis MSA and Surround Area – Comparision to Last Year-Interactive Chart

(click on chart for live, up to date, interactive chart)

Showings of Listings In The St Louis MSA and Surround Area - Comparision to Last Year-Interactive Chart

 

 

Special Report (Video) – The Impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on the St Louis Real Estate Market

I’ve written several articles over the past couple of weeks about the impact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having on the St Louis real estate market.  Hopefully, it has been of some benefit to people that either already had their homes on the market, were in the market to buy or considering buying or selling.  Yesterday, I took all of the most recent information and updates that I think people in those situations will find useful and packed it all into a short, 4-minute, video special report on the impact of COVID-19 on the St Louis Real Estate Market.

You can watch the report below or by clicking here.Special Report (Video) The Impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) on the St Louis Real Estate Market

 

Fannie Mae Offers Mortgage Payment Deferral Plans for Eligible Homeowners

Fannie Mae, the leading source of financing for home mortgages in the U.S. (they purchase home loans from lenders), earlier this week announced some payment deferral plans to help borrowers.  Fannie Mae is authorizing it’s loan servicers to provide options to borrowers that have fallen delinquent or are having trouble making their house payments,  which is likely a result of the financial impact on them of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While it’s complicated, there are several options that Fannie Mae has made available to loan servicers to offer to borrowers that are struggling.  Complete details are in Fannie Mae Lender Letter (LL-2020-05) but the highlights are below:

  • Eligibility criteria for a Payment Deferral:
    • The mortgage loan must be a conventional first lien mortgage loan, and may be a fixed-rate, a step-rate, or an ARM.(the property may be vacant)
      • As of the date of the evaluation, the mortgage loan must be 30 or 60 days delinquent (i.e., the borrower is not past due for more than two full monthly contractual payments); and
      • such delinquency status must have remained unchanged for at least three consecutive months, including the month of the evaluation.
    • And, the loan servicer must confirm that the borrower:
      • has resolved the hardship,
      • is able to continue making the full monthly contractual payment, and
      • is unable to reinstate the mortgage loan or afford a repayment plan to cure the delinquency.

There are some other conditions as well but those are the primary ones.  Assuming the borrower meets these requirements, there are several options available to them.  There are many options the lender can offer which include:

  • Defer the past due payments (without interest accruing) until the mortgage loan matures, until the property is sold or the loan is refinanced or paid off.

If the hardship that caused the borrower to fall behind has been resolved however the borrowers do not have the ability to pay the delinquent payments, another option is for the lender to offer to increase future payments for a period of time to make up for the delinquent payments.  If the borrower cannot afford the increased payments, that is when the payment deferral plan above kicks in.  If the borrower’s hardship has not been resolved, then Fannie Mae can offer a forbearance plan.

If you are a homeowner and having problems making your payments, the best thing to do is immediately call your loan servicer to see what options are available to you. 

New Listings In St Louis During Past 7 Days Down Just 25 Percent From Year Ago

St Louis sellers appear to remain pretty confident in the St Louis real estate market in spite of the COVID-19 threat as evidenced by the number of new residential listings that hit the St Louis market in the past 7 days. During the past 7 days, there were 701 new residential listings on the St Louis 5-County Core Market (city of St Louis and counties of St Louis, St Charles, Jefferson and Franklin) this is a decline of just 25% from the same period last year when there were 943 listings.  For the St Louis MSA, there were 930 new residential listings during the past 7 days also a decline of 25% from the same period last year when there were 1,253 new listings.

While the way in which we do business is changing somewhat, such as relying more on technology with things like virtual open houses, virtual showings as well as utilizing resources like Zoom Meetings, Skype and Facetime in lieu of in-person meetings, there are still homeowners that want to sell and buyers that want to buy. 

St Louis Area New Residential Listings For March 21 Through March 27

St Louis Area New Residential Listings For March 21 Through March 27

New Sales Of Residential Listings In St Louis In Past 7 Days Down Just 14 Percent From Year Ago

As all of us continue to deal with a much different lifestyle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) I am closely monitoring the St Louis real estate market to help get the most accurate information possible to our agents, clients, and consumers to help them make informed decisions about their real estate transactions.

With this in mind, I took a look at new contracts on listings for the past 7 days, so in other words, homes that actually went under contract during the period, but this time, I wanted to drill down deeper than I did a few days ago when I reported new contract activity.  This time I looked at just new sales of residential listings (homes, condos, villas, etc) rather than all property types in the MLS as other property types, such as commercial, land, and farms, for example, could be reacting differently.

As the table below shows, there were 1,142 new contracts on residential listings in the St Louis MSA during the past 7 days, a decline of just 14% from the same time period a year ago.  There were 836 new contracts on residential listings in the St Louis 5-County Core market during the same period, a decline of only 13% from the same period a year ago.

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St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The Past 7 Days

St Louis New Contracts On Residential Listings For The Past 7 Days

A slower pace and different methods of selling homes…

As the data shows, COVID-19 is definitely having an effect on the St Louis real estate market in terms of a lower number of sales and, depending on how things go with containing the virus may bring sales down lower, but for now, the sales activity has been only modestly impacted.  Granted, with the threat of COVID-19  many changes are being implemented into the process but thus far everyone in the industry is working together well to take the necessary precautions to address the health concerns while still allowing people to conduct business.  For example, as much as can be done virtually or electronically is being done.

This is something our firm, MORE, REALTORS, has incorporated into our business model for well over a decade so for us and our agents, its a familiar and comfortable way for us to do business.  It has caused us to switch into high gear to complete enhancements to our DOHR™ (Digital Open House Registration, U.S. Patent Pending) which include a totally virtual open house experience, a virtual showing experience as well as a hosted virtual tour experience. These are all things that will allow us to serve our seller clients by exposing their homes to the market, showing them to potential buyers while also protecting them and their families from exposure to the COVID-19 threat.

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

  

 

 

Showings Of Missouri Listings In Past 7 Days Down Nearly A Third From Last Year But Still Up 20 Percent From January

As the chart below from Showingtime illustrates, showings on real estate listings in Missouri were down nearly one-third (32.6%) from the same time last year.  However, as the chart depicts, for the 7 day period ending yesterday, March 22nd, the number of showings were nearly 20 percent  (19.6%) higher than during the first week of January this year.  Last year at this time, showings were up over 77 percent from the first week in January, so, as expected, we are seeing a decline in showings but, at this point, are still at a rate better than back in January.

The showing trend is downward so we’ll have to watch and see just how low it goes before it finds the bottom.

Impact of COVID-19 On Real Estate Showings In Missouri March 16 – March 22

(click on chart for live, interactive chart)

Impact of COVID-19 On Real Estate Showings In Missouri March 16 - March 22

 

St Louis County Judge Issues Order Stopping Evictions

Yesterday, Michael D. Burton, Presiding Judge of the Circuity Court of St Louis County, signed an order that, until further notice, directed the St Louis County Sheriff’s office to “refrain from executing any writs of restitution (eviction of a tenant), writs of replevin, writs of attachment, writs of partition and any other writs of execution that require them to come into direct contact with the general public..”.  In addition, putting a stop to evictions of tenants in St Louis County this order stops the additional actions listed as well but preventing evictions is probably the most significant part of the order.

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

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

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