An article I read in the local daily newspaper sent me to the Assessor’s Office to check out the facts. The article’s author wrote that “[home sale] prices fell sharply, down in seven of 11 counties surveyed by the Post-Dispatch. In St. Louis County — home to four in 10 home sales — prices dropped 7 percent. And in the city of St. Louis: 20 percent.”
It is certainly true that the pace of home sales has slowed in the City, as it has throughout the region and the country. But did City home prices really drop 20 percent? I don’t think so.
Looking at the Assessor’s data for validated open-market sales (i.e., not including forced sales, family transfers, or those in which tax incentives skewed the sale price), overall single-family home values in the City of St. Louis held steady in 2008. Median home sale prices were actually up 6.4 percent; median condo sale prices were down 2.6 percent.