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

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

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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%).

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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.

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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.

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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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