Word on the Street
In the real estate business, clients’ tastes and priorities constantly evolve, and it’s interesting to see how the market responds. Singles, families and retirees may tend to prefer certain architectural styles or areas of town, and there always will be buyers who want something truly unique. The St. Louis region is diverse and vibrant and can accommodate any buyer’s needs, local agents say.
what style homes are selling well this year?
Modern ranch styles that were popular in the 1950s are ‘in’ again. It wasn’t as easy to sell these back in the early 2000s, but now there is a larger buyer pool for them. Many people like the architectural style and the ease of one-floor living.
Keller Williams Realty St. Louis
Ranches and 1.5-story floor plans are attractive to all ages, but especially the older demographic thinking about a home where they can age in place. We find that first-time buyers with young families often favor two stories with all of the bedrooms on the same floor. This is why the central corridor of St. Louis is appealing—you can find any style of house in that area.
Lottmann Realty Group,
what features are important to buyers?
We find that move-in condition is the No. 1 consideration for many first-time buyers. They’ve already been through the process of searching, getting a loan approved and doing inspections, and they may not want a renovation project on top of it. They tend to want a home that already looks good and is ready to live in.
RedKey Realty Leaders
Many buyers want neighborhoods that are consistent in terms of price and appearance; these tend to be more stable when it comes to resale value. The market in a particular neighborhood may struggle if a buyer tears down an existing property and puts up a $1.5 million home when the rest of the houses in the area are around $300,000.
The Gellman Team,
Coldwell Banker Premier Group
what neighborhoods are walkable?
If you look at the Highway 64/40 corridor starting in St. Charles, walkability tends to grow as you move east. Neighborhoods like Midtown, Clayton, the Central West End, Ladue, Kirkwood, Webster Groves, Tower Grove and Benton Park are denser and more conducive to walking. In the western suburbs, things tend to be more spread out.
Neighborhoods like Kirkwood, Ladue, Des Peres, Webster Groves and Clayton cater to a wide spectrum of people and preferences. They have town centers, parks, and great public and private schools. Most important for walkability, they are safe.
what are some current buyer trends?
There’s an interesting phenomenon happening locally in terms of age and population. You can think of the buying pool as being shaped like a barbell. At either end is a larger group—baby boomers in or near retirement at one end, and millennials at the other. In the middle is a narrower group of Generation X and Generation Y buyers. Also, we’re seeing that younger clients and downsizing retirees often want the same type of house, one in good condition in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
what’s happening in the local condominium market?
The condo market really is for everyone these days, including families and single buyers. With the increase in dual incomes and more limitations on people’s time, we find that families often are interested in condos for the convenience factor. They like quick access to community amenities and buildings with elevators in neighborhoods like Chesterfield and Clayton.
Pictured at top: Jill Butler, Mark Gellman, Sabrina Robb, Jeff Lottmann