The big story in residential real estate continues to be the combined lack of supply and intense competition between buyers. Trends in the broader market are leading to bidding wars and higher price tags for homebuyers across the country, even in traditionally affordable regions such as St. Louis.
According to a recent report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, homebuyers throughout the St. Louis metro area are having to pay well above asking price to secure even the chance of closing on a home. It is a highly competitive, even cut-throat, seller’s market, as a combination of low interest rates and scarcity of homes have caused demand to soar while supply gets ever lower.
Homes are now routinely selling for tens of thousands of dollars above asking price. According to the Post-Dispatch, Vicky Harper and her fiancé have been looking for a home in the area for over seven months. They made an offer on a $349,000 home in Benton Park recently, but didn’t get the home even though they were bidding $25,000 above the listing price.
Stories like this are commonplace nowadays, both on a local and national level. All over the country, it is a sellers market, with many homeowners having to waive inspections and pay well above asking price. Fierce bidding wars are the new normal. These trends are felt more acutely in St. Louis, however, as they go against the metro area’s image of affordability.
The average home price in St. Louis has risen steadily over the last year with no sign of stopping. It is currently at $303,955, up 16.2% from last year according to the latest date from St. Louis Realtors. The average time a home spends on the market has also dropped sharply from 48 days in March, 2020, to 34 days as of March 2021.
These changes are also affecting the region more broadly. In the rural Madison and St. Clair counties the average price of a home has increased 13% just in the first quarter of 2021, according to Gerry Schuetzenhofer, the president of Coldwell Banker Brown Realtors.