GMAR reports scary good October home sales, double-digit growth from 2019

Sales up 26% in metro area, 28.4% in southeast region

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Metropolitan Milwaukee home sales carried over its double-digit growth from September, posting a year-over-year sales increase of 26% in October, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Sales were up by double digits in each of the four metro-area counties. The highest increase came in Milwaukee County (28.4%), followed by Washington County (27%), Waukesha County (23.2%) and Ozaukee County (17.9%).

Sales were up by an even greater percentage for the southeast region, at 28.4%. The region also includes Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties. Racine County saw a stunning 59% uptick in home sales for the month, followed by Walworth County (23.4%) and Kenosha County (19.4%).

In what has proved to be an atypical year, home sales stayed above 2,200 units four months in a row.

GMAR noted the coronavirus outbreak and resulting stay-at-home orders created a “slight pause” in the housing market between April and June. July and August sales exceeded last year’s numbers, and rather than slow in the fall months — as is typical —  sales only went gangbusters.

The seasonally adjusted inventory for October was 3.2 months, meaning there were enough homes on the market to satisfy a little more than three months’ worth of demand.

When subtracting the listings that had an active offer, the inventory level dropped to 1.3 months, according to GMAR.

The inventory levels indicate a strong seller’s market, whereas six months of inventory indicates a balanced market and anything above that indicates a market favorable to buyers.

“These are dangerously low numbers and have been lackluster for a few years,” GMAR noted in its report.

Listings were up in most of the region in October, save for Racine and Kenosha counties. The overall listing increase was at 7.8% for the metro area, and 5.5% for the region.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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