On November 24, 2014, at least 18 Ferguson businesses were torched to the ground and several more were looted and vandalized after a jury announced it would not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of robber Michael Brown.
Thanks to the non-stop protests, the violence, the arson, the looting property values in Ferguson have dropped nearly fifty percent in the last seven months.
The average selling price of a home in the city has been on a steady decline since the shooting of Brown last August, according to housing data compiled from MARIS, an information and statistics service for real estate agents. Prior to Brown’s death, the average home sold in 2014 was selling for $66,764. For the last three and a half months of the year, the average home sold for $36,168, a 46 percent decrease.
The trend has continued on through this year, with the average home selling for only $22,951 so far in 2015. Another negative indicator: in the eight and a half months leading up to Brown’s death, the average residential square foot in 2014 was selling for $45.82. In the eight and a half months since Brown’s passing, the average residential square foot in the city has sold for $24.11. That’s about a 47 percent downtick in one of real estate’s core indicators.
“This is not normal for the region,” says Crista Patton, a local REMAX real estate agent who helped get these numbers for Fusion. “Last time I pulled up numbers like this for a neighborhood around here, we were seeing the market going up,” she says. “In St. Louis in general, the market is going up, and as a whole it’s almost completely recovered from the recession.”
The city admits that its finances are taking a hit, with no end in sight, due to the events since Brown’s death. “The[city’s] response to the unrest, as well as other related matters, has resulted in significant, unanticipated expenditures,” reads the city’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for 2014. “The civil unrest also resulted in some lost revenues… At this time, the total impact of this event on the City’s revenues and expenses is not able to be estimated.”