St. Louis Area Sees Potential For Seller’s Housing Market

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The housing markets in St. Louis County and St. Charles County are on the verge of being seller’s markets, and the housing market of the St. Louis area as a whole continued to show strong growth in June.

The St. Louis area, which is defined by the St. Louis Association of Realtors as including the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County and Franklin County, saw increasing sales volumes and sale prices and decreasing numbers of homes available for purchase across the board compared to June 2012, according to the SLAR’s recent dataset.

Average sales prices went up at least 6.4 percent across the area, led by Franklin County with a 25.2 percent surge and the city of St. Louis with an 18.1 percent increase. St. Louis County saw a 6.4 percent average price growth, to $233,177 from $219,087 last year, to remain the most expensive market in the area.

The number of homes available on the market in St. Louis County dropped 21.3 percent in June, and St. Charles County experienced an 18.6 percent year-over-year decrease. Both counties had a four-month supply of houses on the market. That supply reflects a balanced market, and it would indicate a seller’s market if the supply dips below that.

Donna Zerega, the president of the St. Louis Association of Realtors, said the area is on the cusp of a seller’s market. The shortages in inventory implied a growing demand, which Zerega said was possibly caused by buyer optimism concerning jobs and the state of the housing market coupled with an anticipated rise in interest rates.

Sold listings in St. Charles County jumped 19.9 percent, to 584 from 487, which was the biggest increase in the area. St. Louis County, the region’s largest market, saw its sold number stay flat in June, only rising to 1,372 from 1,370.

St. Charles County has a much larger percentage of new construction than St. Louis County, according to Zerega. Builders were hit hard by the economic downturn and the number of sold properties in St. Charles fell every year since 2007, and now they are back to the 2007 level, Zerega said.

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