The first-quarter data from Metrostudy for the St. Louis housing market shows sales have slowed significantly in 2014. Despite the drop in closings overall, the price appreciation in the market is still picking up pace hindering affordability for the entry-level buyer. Closings overall fell to 11,127 from 12,704 in 1Q13 and 13,814 in 4Q13. New sales also dropped from 553 to 496 year-over-year, a 10.3 percent decline. New sales in the fourth-quarter of last year reached 848, the peak for the last five quarters. Existing home closings hit peak in the second-quarter reaching 16,629 at a median closing price of $144,300. With a reported decrease in new residential sales for the month of June, it’s probable that new-home sales in the St. Louis market have not picked up significant pace into summer.
The price for both new and existing homes continues to rise overall in the St. Louis, Missouri market, however for existing homes the median closing price fell during the first-quarter from $131,300 in Q4 to $126,900 in Q1. This is still up year-over-year from $116,700 in 1Q13, an 8.7 percent increase. New homes hit a median closing price in the first quarter at $257,300 up from $234,100 in 1Q13. This break of new homes going beyond the $250,000 price point first occurred in 2014 over the last five quarters. St. Louis buyers can count on the price per square foot still allowing for more space for less with the existing home price for the first-quarter at just $87 per square foot. For new homes it is significantly higher at $158 per square foot, a jump from $151 the previous quarter. The overall average household income for homebuyers has dropped in the St. Louis market, indicating job security and income are partly responsible for decrease in sales. In May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an unemployment rate in the market at 6.5 percent, slightly higher than the month’s national average at 6.1. Metrostudy reports are still optimistic and project an increase in sales nationally in the final two quarters of 2014 and show increased traffic in most markets, which might include a sale rebound in St. Louis.
Learn more about markets featured in this article: St. Louis, MO.