Monthly Archives: December 2015

St. Louis to Be Nation’s 2nd Hottest Real Estate Market in 2016

Brooklyn? It’s a joke. San Francisco? So last year.

The hottest real estate markets in 2016 are going to be Providence, St. Louis, and San Diego — in that order.
That’s according to, which places the St. Louis metro area at No. 2, ahead of not just San Diego but top-10 markets Sacramento, Atlanta, New Orleans and Charlotte. It shows St. Louis real estate inventory moving faster than the U.S. overall, online listings getting more views than other markets, and demand increasing as the local economy continues to improve.

“Next year looks to be the best year St. Louis has had in quite some time,” says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for “We’ve been seeing strong demand in St. Louis, and if anything, it’s predicts that single-family home sales in the St. Louis area will increase by 8.6 percent compared to 2015 — with median home sale prices up 10 percent.

The website’s analysis looks at a variety of factors, including mortgage rates, household income, and new housing starts. “There is no national real estate market,” he observes. “There are 1,000 local housing markets. So we’re looking at every individual market in the country.”

St. Louis also finished third in the website’s analysis of a market’s success with “young Gen-X homebuyers,” finishing behind only Atlanta and Denver, and just ahead of Charlotte, in terms of its 2016 prospects with those between the ages of 35 and 44.

Indeed, Smoke notes that, of all mortgages made in the St. Louis area this year, 42 percent are for buyers ages 25 to 34. That’s something you’re not seeing in California or New York.

“It’s an extremely attractive market from the affordability standpoint,” he says. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone looking to start a family, or especially Gen Xers, who were most negatively influenced by the last housing downturn.” They bought their first home at the peak of the market, Smoke notes, and subsequently suffered the largest share of foreclosures.

Now, in St. Louis at least, Gen Xers are showing they’re ready to try again. And with the area poised to see job growth and household income rising at a pace faster than the national area, the housing market overall could be hot, hot, hot.

“If you’re planning to buy next year, start early,” Smoke cautions. “There’s more inventory on the market relative to the people who want to buy in January and February compared to May, June and July. That tilts the demand in your favor.” And next year in St. Louis, if the study’s projections prove right, you just might have to be that crafty. How cool is that?arting to heat up even more.”


King County among top places to sell your home for a big profit

People who sold their home in King County in October reaped an average 48 percent gain over their original purchase price, a new report shows.

That profit point puts King near the top of the 127 U.S. counties analyzed by RealtyTrac, a California-based housing data provider.

Only six counties — mostly in California — surpassed King in the average increase between what homeowners bought and sold their homes for.

The average King County home seller in October reaped a $136,082 profit. That’s because of sustained price appreciation: King County median home prices were up 10 percent from a year ago in October, according to the RealtyTrac data.

“The Seattle housing market remains remarkably tight and very competitive. Buyers are still fighting over any new listing which is well priced and this has led to rapid price escalation,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market.

The 127 counties analyzed were those with at least 500 sales in October and where home price data was available both on the most recent purchase and the previous purchase.

In 15 of those counties (12 percent) home sellers on average in October sold for a lower price than what they purchased for. Counties with the biggest percentage loss were Burlington County, New Jersey in the Philadelphia metro area (13 percent loss), Kane County, Illinois in the Chicago metro (9 percent loss), Shelby County, Tennessee in the Memphis metro area (4 percent loss), Guilford County, North Carolina in the Greensboro metro area (4 percent loss), and Cook County, Illinois in the Chicago metro area (4 percent loss).

When it comes to places where home sellers were raking in a lot more than what they paid, those counties included Alameda County, California in the San Francisco metro area (75 percent gain), Santa Clara County, California in the San Jose metro area (61 percent gain), San Mateo County, California in the San Francisco metro area (58 percent gain), San Bernardino County, California in the Riverside metro area (52 percent gain), and Multnomah County, Oregon in the Portland metro area (51 percent gain).

Other counties where sellers realized hefty gains in October were Denver County, Colorado (49 percent gain), Travis County, Texas in the Austin metro area (48 percent gain), Contra Costa County, California in the San Francisco metro area (48 percent gain), King County (48 percent gain), and Orange County, California in the Los Angeles metro area (46 percent gain).

Steven Goldsmith, Puget Sound Business Journal 12-3-2015

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