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Missouri Housing Market Looks Sunny for Summer

Home sales are heating up in Missouri and elsewhere in the United States as the summer progressesWarmer weather is heating up the housing market in many places. With the important spring and summer buying seasons underway, homes are selling fast and at higher prices in many markets.

In Missouri, the number of homes sold in April jumped nearly 14 percent when compared to the previous month, said data from the Missouri Realtors® Association. The uptick in sales also triggered an increase in prices. During the same period, the average selling price climbed more than four percent, from $149,149 to $155,465.

Rick Sinclair, president of the local Multiple Listing Service of the Cape Girardeau County Board of Realtors®, and a broker for Century 21 Ashland Realty, told the Southeast Missourian that there’s been a steady increase in home sales in Cape Girardeau County. Summery weather and low interest rates have triggered robust sales in the market, he said.

After the lull of the dreary, chilly winter months, homebuying activity picks up in the spring and summer time, making it the busiest season for the residential market. Homebuyers descend on the market to cash in on their dream homes and favored school district locations. In some markets, Realtors® are even experiencing bidding wars.

Sinclair told the Southeast Missourian that an increase in home prices creates a “win-win situation.” Sellers fetch more money on their homes, while buyers get anxious about rising prices and jump into the market quicker.

It’s slowly becoming a sellers’ market, he said.

And it looks like that’s the way it may be going for a while. Jane Myers, a vice president and senior mortgage lender at The Bank of Missouri, told the Southeast Missourian that she has noticed lots of new customers moving into the area and applying for housing loans. That means more potential sales in the upcoming year.

Refinancing and mortgage activities have also picked up since 2013 and seem to be going strong  this year, Myers said, because an anticipated hike in rates still has not occurred. More positive signs for the region: the number of foreclosures dwindled and home prices are finally correcting themselves.

“It’s no longer a buyer’s market where there’s a lot of homes to choose from,” said Sinclair.

The number of days a home sits on the market in Missouri is shortening. It has dropped from an average of 136 days in March to 131 days in April. So, advise your clients to jump on the home buying wagon as soon as they see a home they want. Waiting around could mean they lose out on a great opportunity.

How else can real estate agents thrive in a competitive market? They should instruct clients to look at fewer homes, prequalify for mortgages and be ready with an offer when they come across a home they like.

Cash Deals at Record High for Housing Market

Home prices are increasing nationwide. According to Federal Reserve data, U.S. home price hikes have returned $3.8 trillion of value to owners since the real estate recovery began in 2012. And homeowners are taking advantage of that.

More homeowners than ever are using that equity to pay in cash for their next home.  According to Bloomberg, in the first quarter, 29 percent of non-investment homebuyers used cash. That’s the highest on record for the period, Bloomberg said. Now, that’s some news that all real estate agents can rejoice about.

A majority of the people involved in all-cash deals are baby boomers. As the country’s largest-ever generation is beginning to retire, they are becoming big players in real estate, Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors®, told Bloomberg.

“Cash purchases are on the rise because older homeowners who have decades of home-equity accumulation don’t want the hassle of a mortgage,” Yun said. “With the economy improving and the stock market at record highs, boomers are the ones who are driving the market.”