As a Realtor with lots of experience in the City, there’s a few things I know:
- There’s a great demand for updated urban homes.
- The City is being restored.
- Restoring 100+ year old neighborhoods takes time and money.
Noah Brandt, the purveyor of fake news in today’s Post-Dispatch, wrote an op-ed piece on how city residents are fleeing because of their concerns of safety, and that its going to get worse with the new mayor.
Working extensively in the City in areas Like Tower Grove, Benton Park, Soulard, Lafayette Square and Forest Park Southeast, I see major shift in occupancy trends. People want more space. Converting a 2 family or 4 family apartment into a single family home, or converting a 5 bed / 1 bath home into a 3 bedroom 3.5 bath home means smaller family sizes. A gut rehab we did a few years ago had 8 people living in 2 apartments at the 1940 census, was purchased by a single person. The home 2 bedroom home my grandmother grew up in with her family of 9 was demolished to build the new SLU hospital. Before the 80’s the population had a lot to do with the size of families in the City. Now, large families are rare. There are too many factors to describe why the poplulation of St. Louis is dropping. Maybe he can ask Paul McKee how many St. Louis City resident’s he displaced with his failed attempt to improve the area.
He describes the population loss in St. Louis, and attributes it to fear of crime, while comparing the growth in St. Charles County at the same time. As a Realtor with lots of experience in St. Charles, I know a few things about that too.
- St. Charles County has more affordable new construction and for sale each year than ST. Louis City and St. Louis County combined. In the past 365 Days, a quick search of the MLS shows that 905 homes sold in St. Charles county with an average price of $368,988, whereas St. Louis City & County had a combined 558 sales with an average price of $635,456.
- St. Charles has a land mass of 560 sq miles, versus St. Louis City has a land mass of 61.74 sq miles.
- Clearing farmland and building new homes is cheaper, easier and quicker than restoring neighborhoods and infrastucture built in the 19th Century.
Finding a place to live that meets up to certain standards is getting harder and more consuming for people, increasing the likelyhood that they’ll consider spreading out and paying less. Last year, I had a client that wanted to find a home in the city. We looked and made offers, but they eventually settled on a home in Affton. In January, we listed a home in Affton that ended up receiving 11 offers. It left 10 buyer’s, all with strong offers, scratching their heads about where they were going to find a home. Some may choose the path of least resistance, where homes are more plentiful and more affordable. Someplace like St. Charles.
The Bottom Line….
No one has asked me who I would have picked for the new mayor, so I won’t say, but it wasn’t Tishuara Jones. My hope is that she works hard, and knows more about how to address the problems in St. Louis and is able to energize the City’s residents. The pandemic was hard on the region, and she has her work cut out for her. Even if I was a skeptic, its a little early to be weighing in, casting doubt through fear based propaganda. I say give the new administration a chance.
What I’m wondering is what motivated a PR guy from St. Charles County cast doubt on the city through misleading statements and negativity. Who paid him, and what does he have to gain?