Months of Home Inventory in St Louis: Is There a Shortage of Homes for Sale?
Is the St. Louis area suffering from a shortage of homes for sale? Nationwide, there were 2.16 million homes available in April, the fewest amount of homes for sale since 2001 according to the National Association of Realtors. Is this true for the St. Louis area?
Why Are Inventory Levels Low in So Many Places?
Last week Zillow reported that nationwide 44 percent of homeowners with mortgages owed more than their properties are worth or had less than 20 percent equity in their homes in the first quarter of this year. In other words, they’re upside down with their mortgages experiencing what’s called “House Arrest”. They are locked into their residence because listing a house and purchasing a new one usually requires equity of at least 20 percent to meet down payment costs and broker fees.
There are approximately 148,000 Metro St. Louis area homeowners (26.4 percent) in this situation (better than the national average of 44 percent) but still not in the position to sell their home which pushes down inventory levels.
How Many Months of Inventory Makes a Balanced Housing Market?
A 4-6 month supply of homes is considered a balanced market.
Under 4 months favor sellers.
Over a 6 month supply favors buyers.
Real Estate is Local Not just National
Let’s take a look at the chart/slideshow below for a sampling of inventory levels in the St. Louis and St.Charles areas. Statistics are through the month of May. If your area of interest does not appear below please call or email us for current trends.
Why Buyers Need to Know About Inventory Levels
When you go on a trip it’s always wise to look at the weather forecast in the area you’ll be visiting. Will it be cloudy, rainy, tornadic, etc. Knowing the forecast and the climate gives you a realistic picture of what’s ahead. The same thing in real estate. Getting the right information in advance will prepare you for your home buying journey. Are you heading into a buyers market or a sellers market? Are there a lot of houses in your price range or very few? If there’s not much inventory be prepared to pay closer to the listing price. If there’s a lot of homes there can be more room for negotiating price and terms.
Using Real Estate Data to the Buyers Advantage
Finding Homes for You only works for Buyers. We never take listings or work for the Seller. We are here as your personal real estate sherpa to guide you through the data and the process of buying a home. Our goal is to not only share the data but to help you interpret it.
Call us at 636-532-4200 if you would like to discuss what’s happening in the St. Louis real estate market.
- Zillow: 148,000 here ‘upside down’ on mortgages (stltoday.com)
- St. Louis Housing Figures Show Mixed Results (stlouis.cbslocal.com)
- 3 Ways to Know if You’re in a Buyers or Sellers Market
- What the Media is Saying About Exclusive Buyer Agents