How gentrification is affecting housing prices in St. Louis

How gentrification is affecting housing prices in St. Louis

St. Louis has been at the center of virtually every facet of urban development. As one of the great American cities and a hub for transport, industry, and culture, we’ve pretty much experienced it all.

Gentrification is the process by which people are pushed out of their neighborhoods by people with money to spend on improving them. It’s a huge hot-button issue in cities like Boston, San Francisco, and New York City.

When a formerly depressed neighborhood suddenly becomes hot, rapid growth can transform an area almost overnight. But it can also bring expensive growing pains. Is gentrification making St. Louis unaffordable?

Gentrification can happen quickly. As higher-income buyers move into a growing neighborhood, the cost of living goes up. Rents typically escalate, forcing poor and working-class families to move elsewhere.

For many residents, the effects of gentrification can quickly become a political issue. The question is whether the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

Top 10 gentrifying cities in the USA

Nationwide, only about five percent of urban tracts that could be gentrified are actually going that route, according to the Denver Office of Economic Development. But in the top gentrifying cities, new higher-income residents are displacing the existing lower-income residents at a much more rapid pace.

The top 10 fastest-gentrifying cities are:

  1. Washington D.C.
  2. San Diego, CA
  3. NYC, NY
  4. Albuquerque, NM
  5. Atlanta, GA
  6. Baltimore, MD
  7. Portland, OR
  8. Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Seattle, WA
  10. Philadelphia, PA

How gentrification can help homeowners

As property values rise, homeowners often find themselves stuck paying ever-higher property taxes. Those who can’t afford the taxes must often sell their homes. But there is an upside: the opportunity to profit handsomely from a higher selling price.

Homeowners who stick around, meanwhile, can enjoy the economic benefits of gentrification, including new shopping, new restaurants, new job opportunities, better schools, and lower crime rates.

Gentrification in St. Louis

Experts agree that St. Louis doesn’t have a gentrification problem. If St. Louis develops a gentrification problem in the coming years, it may start in the Central West End. To an extent it already has.

The Central West End’s median sale price in mid-2020 is 336k according to Zillow. For investors with deep pockets, the Central West End is a neighborhood we predict will do extremely well going forward.

For 2017, according to Redfin, Fox Park is going to be the hottest neighborhood in the St. Louis Metro Area. This neighborhood is in the southern city, nestled in between Tower Grove East and McKinley Heights, to the north of Benton Park. For the remainder of the year and beyond, Fox Park is forecasted to generate significant real estate interest.

Since 1985, Fox Park has been a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The area went through a severe population loss in the 1990s but looks to increase rapidly in the coming years.

How to buy in a gentrified neighborhood of St. Louis

Without a doubt, gentrification is raising home values across parts of St. Louis, and finding a bargain isn’t easy. By the time a neighborhood starts heating up, real estate prices are already shooting skyward. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to buy a home at an affordable price.

If you’re looking to buy a home in an area like Fox Park, look no further than We Buy Ugly Houses. We have numerous properties for sale. And with us, there are no additional fees. Give us a call today to get in on the ground floor of the hottest new neighborhoods in town!

*Updated June 2020. Originally published May 2017.