Metro area home sales down a tad in June

By the slimmest of margins, home sales in the metro Milwaukee area in June continued to lag behind the 2013 pace. The area’s 1,924 home sales for the month was only one behind June of 2013, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Home sales for the four county area were down 7.3 percent to 8,593 for the first half of the year, compared to the first half of 2013.

June technically marks the sixth straight month that the market saw a decrease in year-over-year sales.

“A spike in listings in June – up 11.2 percent from June 2013 – would seem to lend proof to the theory that home sales were held back in the first half of the year due to a lack of inventory for buyers to choose from,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka. “However, June was the fifth-straight month of listing growth. The 11.2 percent increase in listings pushed the inventory level for June up to 8.5-months, slightly above May’s 8-month level.”

An inventory of 6 to 8 months (the time it would take to sell all of the homes currently on the market) is generally considered a balanced market between buyers and sellers.

Average home sale prices in the metro area for the second quarter were down slightly by 0.4 percent in the quarter, going from $220,650 in 2013 to $219,684 this year.

Second quarter home sale prices by county:
– Milwaukee, $143,890, up 4 percent
– Waukesha, $272,935, up 1.2 percent
– Washington, $196,587, down 0.5 percent
– Ozaukee, $265,325, down 4 percent

“Despite mixed signals on sales and inventory numbers, area brokers have not been discouraged at all this year,” Ruzicka said. “Buyer interest remains high, sellers can expect realistic prices (with some move-in ready properties seeing multiple offers), regional employment numbers are solid, and warm weather has finally arrived. It is difficult to determine if June is the beginning of a trend, with sales at or above the previous year and added supply, but insiders do not seem to be concerned.”

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