St. Louis Housing Market Trends
Dan: Hi. My name is Dan Stratford here with C1 Partners. Today, we are interviewing Bryan Schroeder with Faster House in St. Louis and we’re going to talk about the St. Louis housing market, the different zip codes in the area that are still struggling to make a comb back from a real estate, a buy and sell perspective and some of the areas that are doing well.
So Bryan, let’s start off with the bad news so we can end on a good note. What markets in St. Louis are still kind of struggling if you will?
Bryan: Well, if you know the St. Louis area very well, it’s generally the northern St. Louis County market, North County. Particular areas would be like the Riverview School district area, the Bell Fountain area, Spanish Lake area, and the Jennings’s area. Those areas are really just turning into rental markets. There’s just very few, what I’m going to call a retail home buyers, that are buying in those area. It’s just mostly going to landlords are buying up there to rent the houses out.
There just isn’t a lot of … and consequently I guess the values aren’t really rebounding too well in those areas either. Those areas are still struggling.
Dan: So what do you think is contributing to that? Is it that there’s not jobs in that area? Has it just been historically not a good area? Is it an area where the homes that are built aren’t really attractive to buyers right now? What are the main problems?
Bryan: The biggest problem is school districts. Those areas, the school districts have become unaccredited and the state’s kind of taking them over and therefore most people don’t want to … especially if they have kids, live in those areas. So that is the biggest contributor I believe.
Dan: Okay. And you’ve lived in St. Louis area your whole life? How long have you been in St. Louis?
Bryan: I have lived in the St. Louis area about 23 years.
Bryan: I grew up in northern Iowa but moved down to St. Louis in 1990.
Dan: So let’s talk about goods news. What markets in the St. Louis area are doing well?
Bryan: Pretty much what I would call it the west St. Louis County area. Those areas have really good schools, people want to live there, market values are really rebounding over there and I would say the values are kind of in the, you can say the 150K to 250K, maybe 300K range, that seems to be rebounding really well. I think the upper income market is still struggling a little bit if you get up 500,000 and above. But the sweet spot seems to be that 150K to 250K to 300K range in the West County area or down in the good parts of South County, down to Lindbergh school especially or even now in St. Charles County, seems to be doing really well.
Dan: Do you find with those homes that they need to undergo some renovation in those areas if you’re going to buy the house and sell it?
Bryan: Yes, there’s certainly areas within those school districts that are more mature houses and maybe where families have lived there for quite a number of years and they kind of are going through a change where some of the older folks are moving out and the younger families are moving in. A lot of times those houses haven’t been updated for a number of years. So yes, there’s people that are definitely buying them and updating them, rehabbing them and reselling them to younger families.
Dan: As you’ve been in the real estate market there for a long time, what’s kind of a low end, when someone goes in and say all right, we got to refurb this house to make it sellable.
Dan: What’s something they might spend a low end versus the high end on a situation like that? When they go in the house where someone’s lived in there for 10, 15, 20 years?
Bryan: On the low end, they’re probably going to spend in the neighborhood 20,000 to 25,000. That’s typically going to be updating kitchens, that’s really where you get your biggest bang for your buck is really kitchens, and kind of exterior stuff like landscaping and curb appeal type stuff. Those are really where you get your biggest bang for a buck. But then usually when you’re doing things like that, you’re going to probably be updating flooring which hardwood floors are still a big thing these days, if not that, just putting in a newer carpet, interior paint and then bathrooms. Those are the things that most everybody’s doing these days and at the low end. I think you’re going to probably spend depending on the size of the house and stuff, 20 grand and I mean you might have spend as much as 60, 70 grand if you’re doing all that, and it’s a pretty decent sized house.
Dan: What … are there parts of town in St. Louis where people are just scraping? Where they scrape the old house and build up a new house?
Bryan : Yes, absolutely. We’ve been doing quite a bit of that actually the last year or two. And in the St. Louis market, that’s kind of like going to be in the Kirkwood, Webster area or Clayton, even parts of U city, Des Peres. But yes, some of the land values have gotten to be so high that it just makes more sense to … if the house hasn’t been updated for years, just to tear down the house and build a new one. That is definitely happening in our area right now.
Dan: All right. Well Bryan, thank you very much for your time today and the valuable information about real estate market in St. Louis and we’ll look forward to talking to you next time.
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