Spring 2009 is recent history, and real estate business in St. Louis City experienced a welcome increase. Tower Grove, Holly Hills, Lindenwood Park and South Hampton seemed to experience some of the best activity in the areas I was working as buyer’s seemed to favor a more conservative location compared to past hot spots Lafayette Square, Benton Park and Downtown.
Leading the spring surge was the long absent first time home buyer segment. Scared away from buying for some time, this group was largely more pragmatic than thier counterparts from past years. Receiving the $8000 tax credit was a big factor in buying, as well as the great selection and lower interest rates. One thing facing today’s first time buyer’s is the need for a downpayment, which for most people in 2003-2007 was unnecessary. Today’s buyer’s can still get 96.5% FHA loans as long as they qualify, but in some cases, FHA loans aren’t an option.
Tower Grove & Holly Hills (63116 zip code)
South Hampton, North Hampton, Lindenwood Park (63109, 63139 zip codes)
Comparatively, the condo market in the downtown area appears statistically close to the above groups of neighborhoods except in one key catagory: homes sold.
Downtown, Lafayette Square, Soulard, Compton Heights Condos
This data, compared to the 2006 Spring when the market was just beginning to slow down shows about a 50% decrease in sales and a 100% increase in days on market.
One positive thing that is evident when looking at practically any facet of the St Louis real estate market, is that things aren’ t as good as they have been, but they aren’t that far off. The rush of first time buyer’s is expected to continue through the late fall since the $8000 Federal First Time Buyer credit is not presently scheduled to continue into next year.