A new year means new sales goals for real estate brokers. But the unique factors pushing the St. Louis market to all-time highs require expert navigation. From low inventory to the increased reach of digital apps and platforms, here’s what to know about the St. Louis real estate market in 2022 – and how to make this year your year.
Still a hot market – as long as interest rates remain stable
For the past two years, demand for residential properties in St. Louis has experienced an unprecedented increase. And while we’re seeing a slight cool-off, it still remains a competitive market favoring sellers because supply of available homes has not kept pace with buyer demand. However, potential interest rate rises designed to offset inflation could affect the rate at which homes are bought and sold – and the amount buyers are willing or able to pay. Realtors should keep an eye on Fed activity and strategize with clients accordingly.
Increased agency competition: out-of-state firms eye St. Louis
A hot market means increased agency competition. Notably, large national companies headquartered in major cities are spinning up outpost offices, recruiting, and staffing them with successful, high-profile agents with a goal of increasing their market share. Local agents should continue to build their relationships with existing clients, neighborhoods, and personnel such as banks, title agents, and tradespeople, and work to grow their local expertise.
Mixed-use developments continue to break ground
New, large-scale mixed-use developments are gaining traction throughout the nation, and St. Louis is no different. Anticipated new developments include Expo at Forest Park, the Prairie, Crestwood Crossing, and numerous Midtown projects. Realtors should keep an eye on the leasing situation in these projects, which could present significant opportunities – and a potential shift in the residential and commercial markets.
Digital brokerage solutions trying to gain traction, with varying success.
From cash purchasing company OpenDoor to mortgage company Better, a number of “PropTech” start-up companies have their eye on disrupting the real estate industry. Notably, while some tech efforts such as digital contracts are proving winners, others such as efforts to cut out real estate brokers from the transaction haven’t gained the traction these companies have hoped. After buying up large swaths of SFH property with the goal of selling direct to buyers, Zillow apparently had to cut its losses by offloading 7,000 homes – a recent move that suggests the traditional brokerage model is still robust. Agents should be knowledgeable about these companies and leverage what they have to offer – but use their networks, experience, and personal touch as a differentiator.
Local knowledge and strong relationships will set you apart
While the market is extremely competitive going into 2022, we anticipate a potential cool-off as employers return to office-based work and interest rates nudge upwards. To navigate a seller’s market, agents will need to ensure their local knowledge is impeccable, and that they have solid skills and know-how to set them apart when navigating any transaction. Investing in client relationships, shoring up problem-solving acumen, and being willing to approach the right people in your network will enable agents to deliver.
At True Title we’re always here to share our expertise regarding title and escrow. If you want to smoothly navigate this critical part of the real estate transaction, give us a call today.