St. Louis realtors say now is the time to buy or sell

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ST. LOUIS – With interest rates dropping, there’s lots of fourth-quarter activity and buyers looking for inventory. Surprisingly, now might be the perfect time for people in the St. Louis-area to buy or sell a home.

“If you thought you missed the market this year, you didn’t,” said Kathy Helbig-Strick, Realty Experience Partners. “There is no norm for this year. We're a little bit out of the box on everything.”

With lower rates, buyers appear to be getting off the fence and back in the game.

“People are very active. October will be our busiest month of the year, which isn’t usually the case,” said Steve Strick, branch manager at USA Mortgage.

Helbig-Strick said the market is still strong but leveled off during summer months. She said prices are increasing but not as rapidly as the last few years.

“Affordability is still an issue and lack of inventory in affordable housing range,” she said. “The lower-end houses are still selling quickly.”

And where are the hot spots in the region?

“Tower Grove, Kirkwood, (places) like that still; still a hot market,” Helbig-Strick said. “Location still drives a lot. Close to interstates. Parts of O’Fallon, St. Charles; still a hot market. New construction is strong right now.”

What school districts are buyers and sellers asking about?

“You hear Rockwood, Ladue, Clayton, some great schools in St. Charles County. So many good school options in St. Louis,” she said.

And the rights could get even lower.

“The forecast from Freddy Mac, which is a leader in educating and forecasting interest rates, is actually thinking interest rates will drop more,” Steve Strick said.

The couple says there used to be three tiers of home pricing: upper, middle, and lower. But in the middle tier, in St. Louis, those HGTV TLC homes are not as abundant.

“That market is shrinking,” Helbig-Strick said. “It's either top-dollar house or investor market.”

She said people are choosing to spend more on a home in the loan than take money out of pocket and fix up a house after purchase.

St. Louis-area homes are more expensive right now than in Kansas City and Indianapolis but Indianapolis is tops in recent climb in home values. Meanwhile, Nashville home prices have been soaring for years but cooling off as a seller’s market.

For answers to real estate questions, you can contact sstrick@usa-mortgage.com and kathy@khgexperience.com or by phone at 314-374-0770.

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