ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The weather may be cooling off, but the local housing market is not.
“All in all, it’s been a very nice market,” says Coldwell Banker Gundaker President Jim Dohr. “It started fast. It slowed down slightly. But, it’s been a very steady, nice real estate market.”
So far in September, new sales have climbed 5 percent, matching the pace of the previous eight months.
Meanwhile, prices have increased a healthy 3.5 percent.
Dohr says after getting off to a torrid start, the market did slow a bit, which it usually does before an election.
“People get a little more cautious, not overly so,” he says. “But, we see a little bit of a slowdown until the election occurs and then once the dust settles people get back into the game.”
According to Dohr, the slowdown has actually helped keep prices in check.
“(Closings) started off like a house afire; we were up 20-25 percent early in the year … If we would have kept that up, I think we would’ve seen what happened in other markets … where we’re reading about tremendous price increases.”
Inventory, Dohr says, remains tight. The industry likes a six-month supply on hand. In the St. Louis area, it’s at three months.
“People would like to put their home on the market,” he says, “but they want to buy a home first and be under contract. They can’t find a home they like because the inventory is so low, so as a result, they refrain from putting their home on the market.”
Once on the market, homes are selling fast. Dohr says the average number of days a home is on the market is down to 84. It was 93 last year and 114 two years ago.
Sales are especially strong for homes in the $100,000 to $500,000 range. It’s a tougher market for homes worth over $650,ooo.
St. Charles County and Crestwood continue to be the hottest markets.
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