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2012 Saint Louis Real Estate Market Outlook

Date: January 23rd, 2012 | Category: Chesterfield MO, Clayton MO, Ladue MO, Market Advice, University City MO

Here at Robb Partners, we’re looking forward to another challenging year in the residential real estate market.  Before taking a look at the year ahead, it is useful to consider where we’ve been. The embedded video is last year’s highlight reel for Robb Partners.

How's the Market?
How’s the Market?

2011 Recap:

  • Most notably, 2011 saw the return of luxury home sales.  In Clayton, for example, the number of single-family homes sold above $1.5million increased to 8 from 4 in the previous year, a 100% increase!
  • Luxury condos have also enjoyed a resurgence with a wave of sales at Clayton Park Place, The Crescent, and The Plaza.  Unlike single-family homes, however, there is still inventory overhang for condominiums and it is not clear that there will be sustained demand at the upper end (or any price category).
  • In the standard to middle price segments, quality properties offering superior condition in premium locations sold well throughout the 1st half of the year.  However, the Fall market seemed to fizzle out even for value-priced listings.
  • University City struggled at the standard and middle segment.  Yet, at the same time, we were pleased to have been involved with two of the most exciting sales in years (see the video).
  • Historic luxury properties within the City of Saint Louis did not enjoy the same uptick in sales as the County.

2012 Predictions:

  • Absent external shocks, interest rates will remain low.  However, this will not be a demand driver for home buyers.  And, despite low rates, mortgage approvals will continue to be slow and unpredictable.  Sabrina and I are living our own Kafkaesque experience on a refi at this very moment.
  • Appraisals, although a more rational step in the process than two years ago, will continue to represent a risk to both buyers and sellers, particularly for unique properties.
  • The upper-end market will continue to move in premium communities.
  • Sellers in the standard and middle price categories will benefit from continued focus on asking price rationalization.
  • Tear-downs on superior lots in prized locations will command premiums as individual buyers and their custom builders seek land on which to build.  Expect to see this type of infill scenario and not speculative construction.
  • Finally (and sadly) many home sellers will continue unnecessarily to make precarious decisions in their attempts to sell.  Although somewhat less hazardous, there also continue to be risks for buyers.  If you know someone thinking of selling or buying, please encourage them to consult with us.

Thanks for taking the time to read our 2012 Saint Louis Real Estate Market Outlook.  Whatever your plans may be, we hope you are off to a prosperous start in the new year!