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St. Louis real estate outlook for winter 2021

With interest rates on a potential rise, it might be better to buy a home at a higher cost rather than a higher interest.

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. — Though the housing market is still hotter than usual, a winter chill is in the air, it could still benefit both sellers and buyers when you consider interest rates.

People never get tired of reading or talking about the housing market. It was one of the most popular money topics on KSDK.com. People wanted to know why the market was so hot, what were the predictions, and when would it cool down. Many people clicked on headlines related to the market pricing out renters and first-time home buyers.

Note: The video above is about saving money while heating a home.

Winter 2021 real estate market

Though the market is still pretty hot right now, it is dealing with a fall and winter chill. It's pretty typical for the market to cool off during the colder months as families settle into school and the holidays. But if you're thinking about taking your home off the market or taking a break from looking for a home, you may want to reconsider, say experts. 

"It's definitely a good time to sell," said Kathy Helbig-Strick with Experience Realty Partners in St. Louis. "It's been a good time to sell for many years."

Still a seller's market?

Helbig-Strick says it's also a good time to buy because of interest rates. She says rates are low now, but in the long run, even if they go up one percent, that could cost just as much as waiting it out for home prices to come down.

"Hypothetically, if it came down $50,000 a year from now, but interest rates are another percent, you're roughly paying the same payment," said Helbig-Strick. "So over 30 years, you're better off getting in at that lower interest rate now and paying a little more for the house because it's going to continue to appreciate."

Other experts agree. 

"Rather than waiting to see if home prices come down, you need to be thinking about how much faster are they going to go up if I wait," said Real estate investor David Greene. He's also the co-host of the "Bigger Pockets" podcast. 

Seasonal real estate slowdown

Even though the housing market is relatively hot, there are some cooling-off points for buyers to jump in. Zillow recently reported a seasonal slowdown. The real estate company showed St. Louis' market had one of the biggest slowdowns in home value growth in October at .4 percent.

Still, it shouldn't deter sellers from putting or keeping their homes on the market.

"People are clamoring for houses, still," said Helbig-Strick. "You should come on now while there are still low-interest rates, still this backlog of buyers, and then even more historically low inventory than what we've seen."

Helbig-Strick also says homes feel "homier" during the holidays, and she's seen offers being accepted on Christmas Eve. Winter brings out serious buyers, and in this market, she says it's impossible to underprice a house. 

What's your money question? Send it to mli@ksdk.com.

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