St. Louis Market

St. Louis, Missouri, The Gateway to the west is located within 500 miles of one-third of the United States population. More than 2.8 million people live in the greater St. Louis region making it the largest urban area in the state of Missouri and the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States. Each year more than six million people visit St. Louis, in 2009 St. Louis was named the Most Underrated Destinations of the World by the L.A Times. Parenting Magazine ranked St. Louis #11 on its Best Cities for Families; rankings are based on schools, affordable housing, low crime rates, jobs and parklands. St. Louis boasts a lower cost of living than the national average and in 2012 ranked St. Louis # 7 in fastest growing wages.

With its centralized location St. Louis is a primary national center for air, land and water transportation networks. In fact St. Louis has the 3rd largest rail center and the 2nd largest inland port which is the USA’s northernmost port with ice-free access year round. Lambert-St. Louis International Airport brings in $5.1 billion annually to the area’s economy. Among the commodities shipped through St. Louis are beef, coal, grain, cement, petroleum products and bio-chemicals. St. Louis is among the regional hubs in the US for both agriculture and health biotechnology, with a high concentration of information technology jobs St. Louis is becoming known as the heart of the bio-belt. The area has many world class research and development facilities which focus on plant and life sciences. In addition St. Louis supports a strong manufacturing sector with the three major American automakers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) operating assembly plants in the area.

According to Fortune magazine the greater St. Louis area ranks 13th in the USA for the concentration of companies headquartered in a metropolitan region. The greater St. Louis area is home to 21 Fortune 1000 companies with 9 Fortune 500 companies headquartered in the city of St. Louis. In 2012 Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to work for, St. Louis had 5 companies listed; Edward Jones, JM Family Enterprises, Scottrade, World Wide Technology and Build-A-Bear. One of the reasons for many companies calling St. Louis home is the state of Missouri is very business tax friendly. Missouri ranks 16th for business tax climate and 5th on best Corporate Income Tax Index in the US.

In an article published in March 2012 St. Louis was ranked 10th on the list of best real estate investment cities. That same article noted the St. Louis market is outpacing the national average in terms of the length of time a home is on the market, moving 11.21 percent faster at an average of at 103 days. Unlike many other markets around the country St. Louis did not see huge spikes in housing prices during the boom of the mid 2000’s followed by the massive plunge in values during the crash. Stability has been the name of the game for the St. Louis market and why investors should have St. Louis on their investment radar.