St. Louis Real Estate Blog

January 26th, 2016 3:16 PM
Existing home sales bounced back while new home construction fell off, and lay-offs took an unexpected jump. 

Existing Home Sales 

Sales of existing homes enjoyed a rebound in December, with completed transactions of single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, growing a solid 14.7 percent to hit an annual rate of 5.46 million for the month, the National Association of Realtors reported last week. December’s existing home sales were 7.7 percent higher than a year ago, and capped off the best year of existing home sales since 2006. 

“While the carryover of November's delayed transactions into December contributed greatly to the sharp increase, the overall pace taken together indicates sales these last two months maintained the healthy level of activity seen in most of 2015,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said. “Additionally, the prospect of higher mortgage rates in coming months and warm November and December weather allowed more homes to close before the end of the year.” 

Prices continued to rise, with December’s median existing-home price for all housing types hitting $224,100, a 7.6 percent increase over December 2014’s $208,200. This marked the 46th consecutive month of year-over-year gains. 

Looking at supply, December’s housing inventory fell 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes for sale, which was 3.8 percent lower than December 2014’s 1.86 million. This put December’s housing inventory at a 3.9-month supply, which was down from November’s 5.1-month supply, and the lowest since January 2005’s 3.6-month supply. 

New Home Construction 

In related news, construction permits for housing units issued in December fell 3.9 percent to an annual rate of 1.23 million, according to last week’s report from the Census Bureau. That said, permits for the month were still 14.4 percent higher than December 2014. Also, permits issued for single-family homes grew 1.8 percent for December to hit a rate of 740,000. 

Similarly, starts on construction of private housing dropped 2.5 percent in December to an annual rate of 1.14 million, but were still 6.4 percent higher than December 2014. Construction starts on single-family homes dropped 3.3 percent to a rate of 794,000. 

“Builders are extremely cautious to increase spending for fear of over-extending themselves in case there’s an economic downturn,” Chief Fixed-Income Strategist for Janney Montgomery Scott LLC Guy LeBas told Bloomberg. “We’ll see continued demand for new housing and prices will move higher, but builders aren’t accelerating new construction.” 

Initial Jobless Claims 

First-time claims for unemployment benefits filed by the newly unemployed during the week ending January 16 hit 293,000, the Employment and Training Administration reported last week. This marked a 10,000-claim increase over the previous week’s total of 283,000 and was the exact opposite of what the market expected, which was a 3,000-claim drop. 

The four-week moving average — considered a more stable measure of lay-offs — hit 285,000 claims, an increase of 6,500 claims over the previous week’s average of 278,500. 

“The recent uptick in jobless claims is a negative at the margins,” Chief Investment Officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors Jim Baird told the Wall Street Journal. “But even at this modestly elevated level, claims remain in a range that is still consistent with moderate growth.” 

This week we can expect:
Tuesday — Consumer confidence for January from The Conference Board.
Wednesday — New home sales for December from the Census Bureau.
Thursday — Initial jobless claims for last week from the Employment and Training Administration; durable goods orders for December from the Census Bureau.
Friday — Fourth quarter gross domestic product (advance) from the Bureau of Economic Analysis; consumer sentiment for January from the Thompson-Reuters/University of Michigan Survey of Consumers.

Credit: Economic Advisor Movement Mortgage
1610 Des Peres Rd, Ste 360
Des Peres, MO 63131


Posted by Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam on January 26th, 2016 3:16 PMLeave a Comment

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January 15th, 2016 3:29 PM

As a homeowner, sometimes it feels as though the constant stream of repairs, upgrades, and replacements is never-ending. But when something breaks, immediately calling the professionals may not make the most sense. Before you pick up the phone, check out this list from Trulia.com for some money-saving DIY home projects:

1. Off-season repairs
A few repair items have fluctuating prices depending on the time of year. With the arrival of fall, furnace maintenance calls are at an all-time high; the same for gutter cleaning. Why not have these items checked and repaired in the summer, during the slow season? You could score a discount, and you'll feel like a rock star for dealing with them well in advance.

2. YouTube
Often, a bit of research into a DIY repair issue can save you hundreds of dollars. The plethora of instructional videos on YouTube is mind-boggling; furnace repair has more than 90K videos. Chances are, you're going to find what you're looking for. When you find an instructive and helpful video, consider subscribing to the channel. Next time you take out your tool belt, finding the perfect video will be a snap.

3. Salvaged material
Building and repairing items with salvaged materials is not only a money saver, it's also environmentally friendly. From lumber to doors, windows, vanities, and light fixtures, pretty much everything can be purchased for a fraction of the price secondhand. Familiarize yourself with the return policy in the event your purchase is not in great working order.

4. Rent/borrow tools
DIY is the American way, but the cost of tools can be a huge out-of-pocket expense before you even get started. Rather than buying a tool you're going to use only once, consider renting. Big home improvement stores have a large selection of rentable power tools, all properly maintained and ready to go. Or post a notice on your neighborhood group and ask if anyone would be willing to lend out their shiny new circular saw for your next project.

5. Purchase materials and labor separately
When hiring a contractor, inquire upfront about material cost. Specifically, ask if there will be a markup or if they will be sharing their contractor's discount. If the former, ask for a list and buy the materials yourself. Not only will this probably save you money, but you'll also know exactly what you're getting rather than coming home to a lovingly installed 1970's avocado-green toilet.

6. Manufacturer's rebates
If you're purchasing major appliances or materials for your home, check the manufacturer's website or store fliers for rebates. Some manufacturers offer rebates on surplus items as well as out-of-season items. Energy-saving appliances also come with additional money-saving opportunities: utilities costs. Utilities cost savings are the gift that keeps on giving; every month, you can reap the benefits of a lower water and electricity bill, something you will be happy about if you decide to refinance. Bonus: Check the IRS' website to see if you're eligible for an energy-savings tax credit/deduction.

7. Preventive maintenance
Regular maintenance can extend the life of your home's major systems. Simply changing the filter on your furnace regularly can make this expensive appliance last longer. Also, the occasional deep clean, debris removal, and visual inspection can keep your home in working order and eliminate many costly home repairs. If you notice a small issue during routine maintenance, deal with it immediately rather than giving it time to become a larger, more costly one down the road.


January 14th, 2016 2:29 PM
Price Reduction!
4 BRs, 5 BAs, 3,252 SqFt, 3 Acres
$640,000.00
Rockwood School District
Maris Link

JUST UPDATED MASTER BATH & KITCHEN, FIXTURES & APPLIANCES! Beautiful 1.5 Story Atrium, 4 beds, 5 baths & a bonus room-could be 5th bedroom, 3 side entry garage & sits on over 3 mostly level acres. abuts Rockwood Reservation adding more natural beauty & privacy! Walk into this elegant home through 2-story entry way & curved open staircase. Formal Dining room open to Great room with wall of windows, floor to ceiling fireplace with built in shelves and cabinetry on both sides. Main floor master bedroom suite with with double vanities, whirlpool tub and separate shower has private walk out to back deck overlooking back yard & Rockwood Reservations. The spacious kitchen & breakfast room with hardwood floors, custom Cherry cabinetry, center island and granite counters with walk out to very large back deck. The lower level is finished with recreation room, wet bar, large bedroom & half bath. Lower level walks out to patio & back yard paradise. New Heat Pump in 2014. Home is priced $35,000.00 below appraised value.



Posted by Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam on January 14th, 2016 2:29 PMLeave a Comment

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Listings Photo
$95,000.00
603 Hill Drive

Eureka, MO 63025



Beds: 3 Rooms: 5
Full Baths: 1 Sq. Ft.: 864
Garage: 0 Built: 1960
 

603 Hill Dr -
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam
MelanieCooperTeam at Realty Executives Premiere
6367772872
www.melaniecooperteam.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam on December 3rd, 2015 12:24 PMLeave a Comment

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Listings Photo
$222,320.00
5 Fort Westside Road

Bourbon, MO 65441



Beds: 0 Rooms: 0
Full Baths: 0 Sq. Ft.: 3458664
Garage: 0 Built: 0
 

5 Fort Westside Rd- Beautiful, mostly level and gently sloping 79+ acres with four ponds just minutes from the highway. Ideal lot for residential acreage, farming, horses
This is a new listing that
I thought you might be
interested in. Visit this
listing online to see more
photos of the property,
Google? Earth satellite
images, and much more.
 

If you have any questions
about this property or
require more information,
please feel free to call.

Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam
MelanieCooperTeam at Realty Executives Premiere
6367772872
www.melaniecooperteam.com



 
  Visit this listing here

Posted by Administrative Manager MelanieCooperTeam on November 17th, 2015 11:36 AMLeave a Comment

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