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Prime Real Estate: Interest rates drop while home prices rise


In July, the U.S. economic expansion that began in June 2009 became the longest in the nation’s history, marking 121 straight months of gross domestic product growth since the last recession.  Although the economy should continue to perform well for the rest of 2019, most economists see a mild recession on the horizon, says the St. Louis Association of Realtors.

During the record-setting 121-month economic expansion, the unemployment rate has dropped from 10% in 2009 to 3.7%, yet many consumers continue to struggle financially, notes the Realtors organization. Low mortgage interest rates have helped offset rising home prices, but those same prices are outpacing median household income growth. In a move to stoke continued economic prosperity, the Federal Reserve reduced the benchmark interest rate by a quarter point to about 2.25%, marking the first reduction in more than a decade.

Shopping for a newly built home?  Here’s what’s new in that market:

Griffey Homes offers well-priced custom homes

Dreaming of a custom home but think they’re too expensive? Custom homes by Griffey Homes are affordably priced from $100 per square foot, and homebuyers can work directly with the home builder.  “We have architects available and an in-house designer. And, we offer construction financing at affordable rates,” said Griffey sales manager Kim Valerio.

Griffey Homes has sold its Denali display at MacArthur Park, a single cul de sac of just 11 homesites on Central School Road just off Mid Rivers Mall Drive. Sales are currently being conducted from the Acadia ranch inventory home at MacArthur Park. That community is the sales center for Griffey’s custom homes division.

“We will build your plan or our plan, on your land or our land,” Valerio said. “We have been building custom homes for over 30 years in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties, and in West St. Louis County.”

Meanwhile, Griffey Homes has a new community coming on line very soon. Dragonstone is the builder’s newest upscale community on Bates Road in Dardenne Prairie which will feature 1/3-acre and larger homesites. All of the planned homes will have three-car garages and most will be walkout sites, according to Valerio.

For details, visit griffeyhomes.com, email kim@griffeyhomes.com or call (636) 936-1923.

Steve Thomas display opens at Carter Canyon

With a long-time reputation for well-crafted homes and communities in St. Charles County, builder Steve Thomas is now offering homes from the $170’s in neighboring Warren County.

Carter Canyon features beautiful and mostly wooded home sites located off of I-70’s exit 200. Among the standard features in these homes are granite counter tops, quality laminate flooring in the foyer, kitchen and breakfast room, wall-to-wall carpeting in other rooms, walk-in closets, cultured marble counter tops in each bathroom, two-car garages, 30-year architectural shingles and much more.

“We have our Victoria display located on Lot 9 ready to view along with one more inventory home that is still under construction at Carter Canyon,” reported sales manager Kathy Meitz. “We have Lot 55, our Emerson model, also under construction and you still can select interior colors. Hurry in before this is gone.”

To visit Carter Canyon take I-70 west from St. Charles to exit 200 and continue straight ahead on the North Service Road to right on Westwood Drive approximately a half mile to the community entrance on the right.

Meanwhile, at Eagle Estates, Metz invited homebuyers to “come in and take advantage of our Close Out Sale and stake out your lot.” Located off of Orf Road in St. Charles County, Eagle Estates has a Magnolia II on display. “The 2,686-square-foot split-bedroom ranch is on a wooded homesite with a gorgeous tree line,” Metz said. Thomas has six large homesites remaining in this single cul de sac street in the Wentzville School District. Homes are priced from the $390’s. All homes have extensive standard features.

Steve Thomas’ custom division offers custom homes on off-site locations.

“We can build your dream home using your plan or one of ours,” Thomas said.

For details, visit stevethomashomes.com or call Kathy Meitz at (636) 561-2173.

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