Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:23 pm
Home sales remain steady to brisk
With low interest rates, area Realtors report good sales in all areas of the residential market, from first-time buyers to secondary replacements and upgrades.
"In our primary market, which is Washington County, sales have been brisk since January," says Al Luedtke, president of the Luedtke Group, West Bend. "We’ve been moving businesses, homes and vacant land, with residential land and properties selling the best."
He attributes the strong market to a combination of low interest rates, available financing and a declining stock market. "People see homes as a good investment because homes are still appreciating," Luedtke comments. "This combination of effects has enabled our office and the group to improve our market share by 10% this year."
Things are just as good in the Waukesha area, according to Pat Bitterberg, associate vice president of the Bitterberg Group, a division of Shorewest. "While the lower end of the market has been selling faster, we’re doing a steady business selling houses up to $300,000," she says. "If a home is clean, in a good location and accurately priced, it sells."
Customers tell her that homes are better investments than stocks right now. And with the low interest rates, half of the group’s business comes from people wanting to resize their homes. "The current situation is good for people transferring into the area and those who are leaving their apartment to buy a home for the first time," Bitterberg notes. "After 23 years in the real estate business, I still believe that a home is the best investment you can make."
Business is also brisk at Concord Realty Group in Sheboygan. "While some people are tentative about the impending war and an uncertain employment picture, others feel secure in buying, especially because of the low interest rates," says Linda Buchmann. "Ranches up to 1,600 square feet and two-story homes up to 2,200 square feet are selling well. Split bedroom-design ranches, with the master suite at one end and the other bedrooms and a bath at the other, are very popular."
Similar to new home builders, Buchmann sees a trend to homes without formal living and dining rooms. "A larger ‘great’ room and more kitchen/dining openness are very attractive to buyers," she notes. "This reflects the tendency for families and friends to ‘hang out’ together in open areas of a home."