August home sales up 9.5 percent in Milwaukee area

Market improves after July sales decline

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Record year on track for Wisconsin housing market

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

After a dip in July, home sales in the metro Milwaukee market were back up in August with a 9.5 percent increase over August 2015

“August proved that the dip in sales activity in July was temporary,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. “The increase in sales can be attributed to the increase in listings in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.”

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Milwaukee and Waukesha counties saw increases in listings of 7.6 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively. There were 1,409 listings and 1,113 homes sold  in Milwaukee County and 719 listings and 628 homes sold in Waukesha County last month.

In the four county region that also includes Ozaukee and Washington counties, there were a total of 2,517 homes listed and 2,117 homes sold last month.

Inventory is still low for the year, particularly for properties under $300,000, Ruzicka said. The inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for all price points in August was 5.8 months, flat from July’s 5.8 months. Six months of inventory is generally regarded as a “balanced” market, in which sellers and buyers are evenly matched in price negotiations.

“As we have stated several times this year, there are two main reasons for the lingering decrease in listings,” Ruzicka said. “One is that sellers are not feeling like their home has made up the value it lost during the recession. In other words, they are not feeling the ‘wealth effect’ they had before the recession began in 2008.”

The second reason is that there are not homes for sellers to move into, Ruzicka said.

“An older suburban couple, for example, who wants to downsize to a condo in downtown Milwaukee, is hard pressed to find an available unit – delaying the sale of their current home,” he said.

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