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Area Housing Prices More Sluggish Than National Trend

Allison Blood, KMOX News
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A recent survey of home prices across the country shows steep increases in home prices, but St. Louis isn’t following that trend.

The Case Schiller index shows huge growth across the country. That index measures the real estate market in 20 cities. St. Louis isn’t one of them. Coldwell Banker Gundaker President Jim Dohr says overall, prices are up only about 1 or 2 percent from a year ago, but the number of homes sold is up.

Year over year, in the fourth quarter, prices in St. Louis County and Jefferson County were flat. But in St. Charles County and St. Louis City, prices were up, 3.3 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.

“That works out to a very modest growth overall,” Dohr says.

But the number of homes sold is rising greatly. Each of the previously named areas saw double-digit growth in the number of homes sold. Dohr attributes this to news that the housing market is turning around. He says those who were previously on the fence about buying a home have taken the plunge, feeling that interest rates and prices won’t be this low again any time soon.

Just less than 40 percent of all home buyers in the area are first time home buyers, which is less than the pre-recession average. Dohr says in the past year, the area has seen a resurgence in the “move up market.” More people are feeling comfortable about selling their homes and moving into a bigger space.

Dohr is cautious about making long-term predictions, but he says rent, mortgage rates and home prices will all likely rise over the year.

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