Median monthly rents for apartments in the metro Milwaukee area fell 9.6% in March, year-over-year, to $1,657, according to a new report
from Seattle-based real estate brokerage Redfin
Milwaukee was one of only two of the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S. to experience a year-over-year decline for apartment rental rates in March, according to the report. The other was the Kansas City area, which had a 1.1% decline in apartment rental rates in March.
Milwaukee’s median asking rent for apartments in March was the 11th
lowest of the 50 largest metro areas in the U.S., according to the Redfin report. The area with the lowest apartment rental rates in March was Cleveland, at $1,329. The highest rents were in the New York; New Brunswick, New Jersey and Newark, New Jersey areas, all with March apartment rents averaging $3,870.
The national average for apartment rents in March was $1,940, according to Redfin, so the Milwaukee area's apartment rents were 14.6% below the national average for the month.
Milwaukee also ranked low in March for median monthly mortgages (with a 5% down payment). The Milwaukee area’s average mortgage was $1,184, sixth lowest of the 50 largest U.S. metro areas, according to Redfin. The area with lowest average mortgage for March was Detroit, at $768, and the highest was San Francisco at $7,314.
Milwaukee’s average mortgage was up 20.4% from a year ago, which was the fourth lowest increase of the top 50 metro areas, according to the report. The highest average mortgage increase was in Tampa, Florida at 47.8%, the lowest was Pittsburgh at 16.3%.
The national mortgage average for March was $1,910, so the Milwaukee area's median mortgage for the month was 38% below the national average, according to the Redfin report.
Comparably low apartment rents and home mortgages for the Milwaukee area certainly benefit people seeking reasonably priced housing. But they are also an indicator that the area’s lack of population growth is resulting in a lack of demand growth for the area’s housing market. Milwaukee County’s population decreased
by 10,090 in 2021. As a region, metro Milwaukee’s population was down 7,111 or 0.45%, ranking 326th
out of 384 metro areas in the country. Among the 100 largest metros, Milwaukee’s population drop was the 15th
worst. Among the 10 metros closest in population to Milwaukee, only New Orleans had a worse decline, down 0.68%.