2020 Annual Housing Report

by Chuck Roper 4. February 2021 05:44

To My Valued Friends and Clients,

I am delighted to furnish our 2020 Housing Report comprised of local market data with insights on how the COVID pandemic has shaped St. Louis buying and selling patterns. 

Most of us experienced price appreciation this past year.   St. Louis City and County median home prices rose more than 10% over 2019.  Inventory continues to be sparse especially in the lower price ranges, where we find intense competition for few homes.  Multiple offer situations plague first time home buyers who are forced to compete against all cash, no inspection, quick close offers.  Some of our first timers have written on 10 different homes before getting an acceptance.  

2020 was a roller coaster year – ending on a high, but dicey in the middle.  A strong tail wind ushered in the year pushing January and February sales 8% higher than last year.    Then the pandemic struck, and St. Louis County issued “Stay at Home” orders just when our traditional “Spring” market would have ramped up.  Sellers pulled the plug, either delaying or pulling their home off the market completely.  Postponed job transfers led to canceled contracts. 

I am thankful our associates “dug in,” loaded up PPE, quickly implemented safe showing protocol, pivoted to virtual showings using tools like Facebook Live and adopted Zoom for client consultations if in-person meetings were not feasible.  After a rocky couple of months, Q3 and Q4 sales rose +28% and +36%, respectively.  Our company ended the year on record sales, and I know many other brokerages experienced the same.

Home buying trends either emerged or accelerated in 2020.  I have not heard the term “Zoom towns” widely used here but it refers to housing markets that are growing in popularity due to remote working.  In our market, the desire for more space and suburban migration eclipsed the need for short commute times.  Buyers searched properties with separate spaces for home schooling and home offices.  Workouts moved home with virtual trainers, meaning buyers wanted exercise rooms.  And above all, outdoor amenities (pools, outdoor kitchens, TVs, fireplaces, verandas) dominated home searches this year.  The market for secondary residences exploded as people could now work from either St. Louis or a vacation home.  Moving to be closer to family” is now a primary motivation for relocation among all age groups, not just grandparents. 

Our 2021 outlook is positive.  Vaccinations, low interest rates, last year’s market gains, and the Millennial generation moving into their home buying years all bode well for our future.  

Be well and stay safe,


2020 Annual Housing Report


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