The number of homes sold in the four-county metro Milwaukee area and the seven-county southeastern Wisconsin region were down about 30% in November, year-over-year, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
Here's the breakdown by county, with number of homes sold in November and the year-over-year change:
Kenosha, 128, -46.7%
Washington, 106, -45.1%
Ozaukee, 87, -29.8%
Milwaukee, 777, -28.5%
Waukesha, 378, -28.5%
Racine, 229, -26.1%
Walworth, 116, -17.7%
Year to date, home sales in the four county metro Milwaukee area are down 12.6% to 18,648 homes sold during the first 11 months of the year, compared to 21,336 for the same period in 2021.
The pace of home sales has slowed from a record year in 2021, the GMAR report states. Rising interests rates have been a factor in slowing the market this year, it says.
"Rising mortgage interest rates kicked a little sand in the market’s gears, causing some buyers to reassess their ability to purchase a home, lowering unit sales further," the report states. "However, buyers today are among the highest quality credit risks ever, so rising rates have not wiped them out entirely."
Despite the decline in sales, the prices of homes sold in the metro area during November rose 7.6% compared to a year ago. The lack of listings is contributing to the increase in prices, according to GMAR. November listings in the southeastern Wisconsin area were down nearly 18% from a year ago, according to the report.
"Realtors are dealing with a very dynamic market," the GMAR report states. "Interested buyers (some of whom incorrectly believe a 'buyers’ market' is coming), very few listings, little new construction, and rising prices. Additionally, we are on the front end of the winter market when all activity is reduced."
More supply is needed for the metro Milwaukee housing market, according to GMAR. To reach a balanced market, typically considered 6 months of inventory (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time), the four-county metro area needed 6,925 additional housing units in November, according to GMAR.
As it has stated several times in previous months, GMAR says more single-family home and condominium construction is needed in the metro Milwaukee area.
"The systemic problem with the market is the lack of new construction of single-family houses and condominiums, and over production of apartments," the report states. "That bottleneck combined with the demographic surge of millennial and GenZ buyers and good interest rates have all contributed to an historically tight market. If the region does not create additional supply in the form of more single-family and condominium units, thousands of would-be homeowners will be forced to continue to rent, foregoing the opportunity to build wealth through a home’s equity and all of the other benefits of homeownership."