Is this a Good market to Buy or Sell?

While many people are sitting back and waiting for a "market crash". We are not convinced that That future is inevitable. In fact on a market to market basis some markets are cooling off, and yet some are heating up. In fact St louis, MO saw a 2-6% increase in property sales prices from 2022- Q1 2023. (Link/Link) In fact the Fed shows an increase in average property sales prices across the Midwest, including MO. (Link) Lack of inventory is a huge issue in a market dependant on Supply and Demand. Currently there are no signs of the market crashing. Unlike what your family members tell you, and panic news media may make you believe. This is 100% unlike 2008. Interest rates are higher than they were, but they are not at all the 14% people were buying properties with in the 90's and early 2000's. Wall street journal showed 5 publicly traded companies purchased 15-25% of inventory in the last year. Are they expecting a price collapse? (Link) Some people Say this is the cheapest housing will ever be. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure. There are always reasons to buy or not buy, however Real Estate is and was the number one way people build wealth. Most often through homeownership & or investment. (Link) Over 10 year intervals Real estate usually appreciates in value.

Is it better to Rent or Buy?

Nobody has a definitive answer to this age old question in any market. The answer is almost always, "It Depends". Renting may have a higher monthly cost on average, and is frequently because renters are footing the mortgage for the owners in most cases. However this does not mean Purchasing housing is less expensive or a frollick in dandelions. Homeownership costs are typically more expensive due to the inevitable maintainence and upkeep factors. However, despite the higher cost on average than renting, Homes and Real Estate in general over 10 year spans historically appreciate in value. Markets do tend to be cyclical. Meaning costs and values can rise and fall, but over time you build equity in your home as well as appreciation as time moves forward. Real estate is commonly referred to as a "Hedge against inflation" and is also called the number 1 way to build wealth. Meaning as the cost of everything around us goes up, home values will likely rise with it. Now on the contrary If you are expecting values to sharply decrease for whatever reason you may. It may make sense to rent and buy when you feel the market is low enough. However, There is no evidence of a sharp decrease in value or prices in many markets due to a variety of factors, so it could be a long wait. This is where we all must do our research. If you plan to hang on to your home over a 10 year period and have confidence in your ability to afford the cost of ownership. In my opinion purchasing would make the most sense if you can afford the cost of ownership. Thusly the answer to the best questions in life are, "It depends".

Why are Real Estate prices so high?

This is a complex economic question, but the simplest way to answer this is INVENTORY and inflated material and replacement costs. I know we've all heard it on TV or otherwise. Less Sellers are Selling. Whether its because they dont want to buy high, can't replace what they have, dont want to pay capital gains, or because they love where they are. There are less Sellers deciding to Sell on market than ever before. Because of the Law of Supply and Demand, if demand is higher than supply then the market supports higher prices from buyers who want to purchase. Now other factors such as replacement costs due to inflation also play a large factor in appraised values as well. Through the "Cost approach" appraisal method, the price of property must be higher if it costs more to build. Materials cost more now than ever before, as of the date of this article, Lumber is down, but other necessary materials are up in price. In 2022 the Fed printed 80% of ALL US currency in existence. Which in case it wasnt obvious, printing money above the economic value of the country will obviously weaken the value of the currency causing inflationary costs in all aspects of every market. (Link) So the next logical question is will prices ever go down to "Pre-pandemic" levels? My guess is, its highly unlikely. However Time is the best indicator of all things.