St. Louis single-family real estate recovers ground

Housing demand in the St. Louis, Missouri, metro area is benefiting from 9,000 new jobs gained in 2011, with projections indicating another 12,000 positions will be added to the city’s employment this year. After three years of minimal or no gains in employment, the 2011 figures contributed to higher absorption of rental housing in the area, according to real estate analysis firm Hendricks & Partners. Although new apartments were added and, in many cases, filled, the city has seen the beginnings of a single-family rebound due to the combination of new jobs and low home prices, with the median at $119,000. Those expressing interest in the renewed single-family demand might be interested in renting these properties, though it is not clear what their preferences would be. Prospective investors and property management companies would do well to investigate the housing desires of the metro area’s new employees and old residents, and may wish to emphasize efforts to attract renters. Rents in the city did rise last year, and vacancies shrank, suggesting there is still significant demand.