March home sales up 5.2 percent in metro Milwaukee

Inventory, listings also begin to increase

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

Home sales in metro Milwaukee were up 5.2 percent in March following a slow February in the metro area and a slight decrease in home sales across the state.

Home sales were up 5.2 percent in March.
Home sales were up 5.2 percent in March.

The March rebound is indicative of overall positive home sales that the metropolitan Milwaukee area has been experiencing since September 2014. Over the last 27 months, there have only been four months of year-over-year declines in home sales in the area, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Washington County was the only county to experience a decline in March, with 4.2 percent fewer sales than March 2016. That is being attributed to lack of inventory for buyers, rather than lack of interest in purchasing.

For March, Milwaukee County saw a 4.9 percent increase in home sales, Waukesha County was up 5.3 percent and Ozaukee County was up 2.1 percent, year-over-year.

For the first quarter of the year, the metropolitan market saw 3,455 total sales, compared to 3,325 in 2016, a 3.9 percent increase. Area home sales during the quarter were 7.7 percent ahead of the first quarter in 2015 when there were 3,207 unit sales according to GMAR.

The average prices of homes sold in the metro area rose in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties during the first quarter, but declined in Ozaukee County.

First quarter home sale prices by county:

  • Milwaukee: $161,224, up 4 percent
  • Waukesha: $292,266, up 3 percent
  • Washington: $227,881, up 1 percent
  • Ozaukee: $292,154, down 3 percent

“Market conditions are ripe for a strong spring and summer market,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR. “Job security and prospects look good, and interest rates continue to hover around historic lows. The biggest cloud on the horizon is the supply of homes, both existing and new construction.”

Another positive in March was that listings were up 4.6 percent. Still, since June 2015, there have only been five months of positive listing growth.

Inventory (the amount of time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) remains tight, with 4.4 months, which is an increase from February’s 3.8 months, but still not at what would be considered a balanced market, six months.

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display