Thursday, December 29, 2005

Buyer's or Seller's Market

St. Louis lofts
Tonight a client asked if right now was a buyer's or seller's market downtown.

I was thrown off by the question. The resale market has been extremely busy of late.
Despite that, its hard to really say that a market with so much room for expansion and so many options is truly a seller's market. While the resale and many of the developments sales are bustling, some projects sales aren't so active.

To sum up, and of course, in my own opinion; if you're waiting until spring to sell your loft.....don't! There are buyer's in the market looking for a place to call home now. Is everything on the market jumping off within 30 days? Not hardly. Lofts still can take more time to sell due to the specific expectation of the buyer. Most buyer's continue to view lofts more critically than other types of housing in St. Louis.

Compared to other parts of town though, the loft market is alive and well during this traditionally slow time of year.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Ask Not.....

Welcome to Downtown St. LouisDowntown St. Louis obviously has the absolute best "Welcome to St. Louis" sign in the country in the Gateway Arch. When crossing the Poplar Street Bridge into St. Louis people passing through know they've just entered St. Louis the City. What about the neighborhoods?

I have a speech saved from the late Greg Freeman about some of his observations about the city. One of them was that as a city, we do a poor job of marketing our city and its neighborhoods within the metro area.
(Read the whole speech here) In the past 10 years that has changed quite a bit, but there is more that can be done.

The highway exit off 40 at 20th Street seems to be a great location for this, but wouldn't it be great as an entrance to the downtown and downtown west neighborhoods to show some community spirit about the area and welcome everyone to the neighborhood? There are still a lot of people who, despite the loft district getting lots of publicity for the architecture and the lofts themselves, don't really realize that there is a growing population calling this area home.

In this case, it appears unattractive to add this suggestion as another financial request on the city. Maybe that's the best route. That's what taxes are for, right? What about a grass roots effort?

Input is welcomed. Don't be afraid.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Attention Investors!!!

King Bee loftThis huge loft space is for sale and is a great opportunity for investors in the hot downtown loft market. This loft is priced at $123.95 per square foot now and the price may be negotiable. Flooring is a distressed 100 year old maple hardwood throughout except in bath and utility room. This loft could be kept as is and rented or refinished to a more upscale luxury loft. Plenty of room in price for updates. Eighth floor unit with eastern view of downtown skyline. Great opportunity for investor or person looking to have potential for totally unique space.

Contact Chris at 314-518-9003 for a private viewing or email today! Lofts in St. Louisspacious urban dwellinghistoric adaptation downtown

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

St. Louis Loft Sales are Heating Up!

St. Louis Loft Lover
Traditionally the real estate market is supposed to start hibernating as the holidays approach. That doesn't seem to be happening this year. Many weekends I've seen other realtors tromping around town with clients looking at lofts more than usual. In the past two weeks, over 10 lofts have had offer's accepted and are in contract to sell. In the past month since I last posted the sales in the area, much of the supply of lofts has diminished by a healthy resale market.

These are the sales that took place in November. I didn't count, but it seems like more typing than I did for the months of September and October combined.

2020 Washington #703 $151,900Loft Realtor
1511 Locust #310 $155,000
1511 Locust #102 $172,658
1511 Locust #403 $174,890
2020 Washington #414 $195,000
1511 Locust #602 $195,220
1601 Washington #211 $199,276
2020 Washington #104 $209,800
703 N Thirteenth #301 $235,000
1511 Locust #504 $240,000
1511 Locust #807 $281,000
1517 Washington #302 $359,000
703 N Thirteenth #208 $379,990
400 S Fourteenth #1020 $414,000

More details can be found in the loft listings pulled from the MLS.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

The End of Traffic Madness Downtown?

Downtown St. Louis TrafficDuring my day to day travels, I occasionally find myself asking questions about why certain traffic signals, lanes, etc. are set up the way they are. "Doesn't anyone know about this?!#$!?!" I was excited to go to the open house yesterday at the Downtown St. Louis Partnership office to look into the most recent analysis of the downtown central business district traffic flow and recommendations by Crawford Bunte, and Brammeier, Traffic and Transportation Engineers.

I was happy to see lots of people in the loft development industry present. I was happy to see the level of detail that a professional engineer will look at when assessing the traffic in a given area. Though very detailed, it appeared that they really thought about how things could be improved in our downtown by fixing some vehicle and pedestrian issues that are downright obnoxious.

Things I was most excited to hear and hope are implemented.
1. Having a more coordinated system in place to control traffic signals downtown.
2. Placing a wide median on Tucker to assist in managing the traffic flow, allowing more pedestrian friendly roads, and potentially beautifying that important downtown artery.
3. Considering having eighth and eleventh streets changed from 1 way to 2 way.

Ultimately, the traffic in St. Louis is substantially better than in many other cities. We have no real room to complain, but that seems to be why fixing some of the obvious problems has never really addressed before. We really don't have it that bad.

The problem comes in more that navigating through downtown can be confusing and that for people looking into St. Louis as a convention location or for offices may not stick around town long enough to figure out the areas to avoid and how to get around with ease.

My only hope now is that the City of St. Louis does everything possible to implement the findings of this great study.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

The Notorious Ebay Loft for Sale

When I first heard about the loft for sale on Ebay with no reserve, I viewed the likelyhood of a deal with amused skepticism.

This same loft was just listed on the MLS on Wednesday for what still appears to be a favorably priced $349,000. I spoke to a few people who thought that the price of $300,100
would be too much, so they hesitated on bidding. In this case, though I haven't actually been in the loft, the market indicates a price more like the current list price. $300,100 would have been selling the loft much lower than its value.

One positive thing is that if you are working with a buyer's agent / realtor, they now can help you with the contract, negotiations, inspections, and all the other work that comes with buying a home. While charitable contributions are fantastic, they shouldn't be made in place of having professional assistance in a major real estate transaction.