All across the country, home inventory is incredibly tight. People are buying up residential real estate at record rates, as COVID fosters a culture of living, working, and learning entirely from the comfort of your own home. Demand is high, and it appears likely that it will continue to be so. In St. Louis, the combination of low inventory and high demand is causing a record number of houses to be sold for more than the asking price.
According to research by the real estate company, Zillow, the percentage of homes selling at above their listing price is currently quite high in the United States. Across the country, 22.4% of homes sold in September were purchase for more than what the house was listed for. In St. Louis, it was 32.3%. To give an idea of how stark an increase this is, in September of 2019 only 17.4% of St. Louis home sales were above the listing price. On average, the sale price exceeded the asking price by $14,583. The Zillow research further shows that for homes priced between $182,500 and $244,967—what they call the “middle fifth”—42.7% sold above the listing price.
Data from the St. Louis Realtors trade group shows just how competitive the residential real estate market is right now. Home inventory in St. Louis is from 5,077 homes for sale in September 2019 to 3,412 in September 2020. This is a decrease of 32.8%. Generally, inventory goes up in the Fall in what is generally a much less frantic season for residential real estate. Instead it has steadily declined over the year in an unprecedented break with the usually yearly cycle.
The average days a home spends on the market is also down to 34 days from 43 last year. In a truly incredible statistic, the average sale price across all homes in St. Louis was actually above 100% in the months of August and September. These are the only two months with percent of list price received greater than 100% since St. Louis Realtors began measuring it in 2005.
All this should make potential homebuyers consider expanding their budget, as the current low-inventory and high demand means that any house on the market is likely to receive multiple offers from people willing to spend extra in order to purchase a home.