April home sales up 15.1% in Milwaukee area

Inventory remains tight

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 am

Home sales in the Milwaukee area continue to increase with sales up 15 percent in April compared to April 2015.

house home for sale

It was the 18th month of increased home sales out of the last 20 months, dating back to September 2014. January 2015 and March 2016 were the only months that had negative sales, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Milwaukee County saw the largest growth in home sales in the month. There were 1,035 home sales in Milwaukee County in April, up 20 percent from April 2015. Ozaukee County had the smallest increase, with 0.9 percent.

There continues to be an exceptionally tight inventory. The inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) in April was 5.9 months. Six to eight months of inventory is generally regarded as a “balanced” market, where sellers and buyers are evenly matched in price negotiations.

Christine Wendt, 38, of Milwaukee, has been searching for a house since the last weekend in March. Her realtor has shown her at least 30 homes in the Bay View neighborhood and she has put in an offer on two. Often, she schedules a tour and is called the day before and told an offer has been put in on the house, Wendt said. Several of the other houses she has seen have been overpriced for the amount of work they need done, she said.

“I really want to keep looking in the same area,” she said. “If anything, this has taught me exactly the location I want to be in. I guess I’ll just keep looking.”

With inventory levels such as this throughout the region, the law of supply and demand would dictate that prices should rise. And, that is precisely what is happening in the market, said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Actual sales prices will not be available until the end of the second quarter.

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