Winter has not been kind to Missouri’s real estate industry.  But the weather is not the only factor behind the slowdown. 

Missouri’s Realtors says home sales in February were down 17% from February of 2013 and 12%  below February of ’12.  But the time homes were on the market continued to decrease while the prices of homes that sold averaged six and eleven percent more than prices in the last two Februarys. 

CEO Russ Cofano says weather kept a lot of people from looking while increasing loan rates and tighter underwriting standards had an impact. But a slowdown in another industry also has hurt home sales.

Cofano says new home building has slowed, too. “Where there’s new home transactions, guess what?…People that are wanting a move-up, they’ll see that nice bright new home and want to buy and their home then becomes inventory.  So we’re desperately in need both in Missouri and across the country of new homes inventory.” 

Cofano says other years that have started slowly have picked up in March and anecdotal information indicates that’s starting to happen this year.  He thinks there is pent-up demand for quality homes but lack of good inventory is frustrating.

AUDIO: Cofano interview 10:41