St. Louis real estate inventory in April 2021 nearly half of what it was a year ago

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ST. LOUIS – Houses nationwide are selling lightning-fast according to Realtor.com. In the St. Louis area, a typical home for sale in April spent 61 days on the market. The data came from Realtor.com which just released its April 2021 monthly housing market trends report.

When it comes to price, the median listing price in the St. Louis area is $266,000. Listing prices are up 13.5% this April compared to last April.

Vickey Harper walked into St. Louis’ hottest housing market in recent memory.

“Are we looking for a unicorn? Because it almost feels like it,” she said.

She said finding “the one” hasn’t been fun; scouring the web for new listings, scheduling showings, attending open houses.

“It’s almost become borderline obsession,” Harper said. “A lot of anxiety for sure.”

Nationwide, the median home price for active listings grew by 17.2% over last year and reached $375,000 in April. The median listing price of $375,000 is a new all-time high.

“The main driver right now, which is having an impact on everything—buyers and sellers—is there’s nothing to buy. Supply is low,” said Matt Muren, realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties and the 2021 president of St. Louis Realtors.

So what is the inventory in the St. Louis area like? When it comes to the number of active listings in April 2021 compared to April 2020, they are down 43.9%.

If you were in the market to buy a house last month and were looking for something that just went on the market, the number of new listings this year compared to the onset of the COVID pandemic in April 2020 was up 33.4%.

Let’s also compare March 2020 to 2021. St. Louis’ home inventory was down 46% year-to-year. With such high demand, available homes sold fast, averaging 12 fewer days on the market in 2021. Demand also increased the region’s median sales price 14%. In some neighborhoods, Muren said buyers are paying more than that.

“We’re talking $10, $20, $30, $40, $50,000. That’s not outside the realm of what we’re seeing in this market in terms of people going over asking price,” he said.

However, nationwide, new listings are still down 25% from the typical rate of newly listed homes in 2017 and 2019. And despite low-inventory and fast-selling houses, the median number of days a St. Louis home for sale in April was on the market remained at 61, not changing from the previous year.

Money talks but in this market, it’s not always enough to get sellers to listen. Buyers are eliminating contingencies like inspections, appraisals, and financing clauses to make their offer more attractive.

“If you’re not 100% confident you’re going to have the funds, you’re taking a huge risk by eliminating those things,” Muren said.

What’s too risky for some might reward others by getting an offer accepted.

“To give up an appraisal rider or an inspection on a house, that blows my mind,” Harper said. “It’s a huge rollercoaster of emotions.”

But Harper said she plans to stay on the ride.

“Just keep holding onto the fact that when that right house comes along, I’m going to know it,” Harper said.

Realtors.com says one reason home sales can continue to occur at high levels despite relatively limited inventory is that homes are selling lightning-fast. The total number of unsold homes nationwide is down 21.9% from April 2020.

“Just keep holding onto the fact that when that right house comes along, I’m going to know it,” Harper said.

This is the first in a series of stories on the St. Louis real estate market we’ll bring over the next several weeks. Through our collaboration with KMOX Radio, we’re going to explore what it means for buyers, sellers, builders, banks, and everyone in between.

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