American Realty Group Blog

Aug. 5, 2013

The Smoking Hot St. Louis Real Estate Market

by Joseph LoPiccolo

Since the start of 2013, the St. Louis area real estate market hasn’t been stronger in quite some time. After pulling a few official statistics from our MLS, it appears that the median sales price in St. Louis County has risen an impressive 7.1% from the same time last year, and even more impressive, St. Louis City County has had a whopping 31.2% increase in median sales price. That’s huge, and it shows. Like the many other real estate offices which serve the above areas, American Realty Group is running full speed to meet the demands of the increased amount of home buyers in the St. Louis region.

It wasn’t that long ago that we were referring to the market as a “buyer’s market,” and you can see an example of that in this two-year-old video of Joe LoPiccolo, Owner and Broker at American Realty Group, during an interview on a local Fox affiliate news station. A buyer’s market is essentially one where properties stay on the market for longer than usual and afford home buyers the opportunity to snag a good deal on a nice home. But that’s not quite the case as we sail through Q3 of 2013.

In complete contrast, right now we’re experiencing a “seller’s market”, which means that properties can sell in as little as a few days, usually with multiple offers and sometimes even bringing above the asking price. This also means that there are fewer homes for sale, as they are bought up much faster than usual. Take for instance St. Louis County – according to the latest statistics from our MLS; Q1 of 2013 shows only a 4.6 month supply of homes, which is down a staggering 39.8% from last year at that time. There were 5,202 homes for sale in St. Louis County during Q1 of 2013 – which is 30.4% less than the same period last year. The average Days on Market is down 13.2%. As you can see, homes are selling in many areas of St. Louis and they’re selling at a rapid pace.

Some local analysts are claiming that due to recent, sudden increases in mortgage rates that it might take a little bit of the excitement out of the buying frenzy. But on the other hand, it may only really affect those buying on the lower end. Even with 30-year rates at 4.5%, it’s still much better than, say, 2006, when rates were at the 6.5% mark. Even at 4.5%, buyers who may have been thinking about making a move may actually make that move in fear of future rate increases. That’s another factor that may keep portions of St. Louis in a seller’s market.

As you can see in the aforementioned stats, the market is hotter than it’s been in quite some time. While this doesn’t affect every area of St. Louis, overall, it affects most.

If you have questions about buying or selling a home in or around the St. Louis, MO area, we’d be happy to talk to you and answer all of your questions. Don’t hesitate to call American Realty Group at: 314-416-4288

You can also find Joe on Google+

Posted in Real Estate News
Feb. 20, 2013

An Intro To Short Sales in St. Louis, MO

If you’re currently in a situation where you owe more on your home than what it is worth, which in this economy is more common than ever, or have been unable to refinance or even denied a loan modification; a short sale can be a fantastic alternative if you’re facing foreclosure or are considering walking away from your home.

When we talk about a short sale, the goal is that your lender agrees to accept a pay off that is lower than your current mortgage debt balance. For example, if you current mortgage balance is $295,000 but your house is only worth $195,000, the goal is to get your mortgage lender to agree forgive the negative difference of $100,000.

Going through with a short sale has many benefits for home owners who are under water or have adjustable rate mortgages than they can no longer afford to pay.

Just watch the news and these days and it’s not uncommon to hear about regular people doing crazy things due to the overwhelming stress of a pending foreclosure. If you are no longer able to make your mortgage payments due to unemployment, illness or had an adjustable interest rate mortgage that rocketed sky high, then it’s time to talk to an expert about the short sale option.

Under a short sale, your lender understands that you’re trying to sell your home at its current market value. Chances are good that they’ll agree to go that route simply because if they foreclose on your loan they would end up spending a lot of money on legal fees and ultimately end up selling the home at current market prices anyway. As a result of this, most lenders are likely to agree to a short sale because it simply makes sense financially to their bottom line when compared to the legal and overhead fees of a foreclosure.

Your credit takes a real hit when going through a foreclosure. A short sale will also cause some damage to your credit but due to the rising amount of short sales most lenders are backing off on credit guidelines for those that have a short sale on their record. As a matter of fact, the effects of a short sale can be negotiated with your bank or lender as part of the short sale agreement.

So if you’re in a position where a short sale is a good alternative, then it’s well worth a phone call or an email to learn more about it. American Realty Group is always standing by; ready to go over your options with you and help you understand how it would work for your situation.

Posted in Short Sales