Looking at January through April 28 for the past four years, we could come close to the previous high in 2008 of 56 sales. Currently there are 27 lofts under contract with 30 sales so far.
The area of greatest change is the price per square foot. With the extensive amount of foreclosures, short sales, and appraisal challenged sales, the current price per square foot is right at $106. 2008 price per square foot: $169.24. Keeping in mind that the first third of 2008 was well in advance of the stock market crash and prior to the public knowledge of the banking crisis which hit later that year.
Now, nicely finished, market rate sales selling above $150 per square foot are simply out numbered by homes dumped by institutional owners and short sales. Sometimes the "like units" just don't exist, except for dist. This isn't unique to St. Louis or downtown. In talking with a nationwide developer, they've been having this problem much worse in other areas.
I sort of feel silly making references to the market and its descent from the highs. Like its never been talked about before. The media has beat this subject into the ground! In listing appointments though, when we hear the price that prospective loft sellers want for their unit, it seems that the reality of the market is unknown. Sellers ultimately unable to accept the reality usually end up in foreclosure and their bank has to find reality for them.
As real estate investors, our suggestion usually favors trying to rent out a loft space until the market recovers. This strategy cuts down on our listings, but gives the owner tax advantages and hopefully a better sale price down the road. Despite some horror stories, with proper screening and lease execution, downtown renters can be fantastic.
Despite the lower prices, the increase in sales is a good thing for downtown. In 2008, while we had 56 sales, the inventory downtown was staggering. The big question mark at that time was, "How in the hell are we going to sell all these condos?" Even worse, public perception was even worse than the reality. They myth to the average St Louisan, thanks to the media, was that downtown was only 15% occupied and that there were hundreds of empty condos downtown. That was never the case. Now, with inventory being absorbed and prices more affordable, many people are making their move downtown. Click on the building name and see, that very few units are currently for sale in each building.
Here's the sales data from the first third of 2012
Building/Address Sale Price
Blu City Spaces
210 N 17th St #610 $29,995
210 N 17th St #908 $29,995
210 N 17th St #411 $30,000
210 N 17th St #803 $54,995
29 Columbus Square $54,900
507 N 13th St #204 $78,023
2323 Locust St #307 $80,000
Lofts at 2020 (commonly known as "Sporting News Lofts")
2020 Washington #605 $83,000
2020 Washington #604 $84,000
2020 Washington #313 $105,000
2020 Washington #803 $128,500
1511 Locust #508 $90,000
1136 Washington Ave #209 $102,000
1136 Washington Ave #712 $168,500
1136 Washington Ave #903 $215,000
1123 Washington #409 $110,000
1113 Washington #308* $117,050
1123 Washington #716 $161,000
Moon Brothers Carriage Lofts
721 N 17th St #507 $110,000
1015 Washington Ave #509 $119,795
314 N Broadway #1601 $129,900
314 N Broadway #1101 $165,000
1627 Locust St #305 $158,000
1611 Locust St #502 $165,000
1209 Washington #608 $175,000
Terra Cotta Lofts
1501 Locust St #707 $200,000
1635 Washington Ave #912 $222,500
400 S 14th St #1113 $290,000
400 S 14th St #1202 $330,000
For more details on any sale or available unit, Contact the Premier Team for Information