Metro Milwaukee home sales decline in January

Continues trend of falling sales number from late 2018

Home for sale
Record year on track for Wisconsin housing market

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

Metro Milwaukee home sales were down 3.5 percent in January, compared to the same month a year ago, continuing a general downward trend the market experienced toward the end of 2018, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Home sales were up down 3.5 percent in January

Specifically, there were 1,008 homes sold last month, 37 fewer than in January 2018. The year-over-year decrease marks the seventh month out of the last nine with lower year-over-year sales in the metro area.

However, GMAR noted, the winter months are traditionally a slower period for sales, and because of that it is difficult to determine what the coming months have in store for the market.

January sales dropped by the greatest rates in the northern part of the metro area, specifically Washington and Ozaukee counties. Sales were up slightly in Waukesha and Racine counties. January home sales by county are as follows:

  • Milwaukee County, 622 homes sold, a 1.7 percent decrease
  • Waukesha County, 262 homes sold, a 1.9 percent increase
  • Washington County, 78 homes sold, a 20.4 percent decrease
  • Ozaukee County, 46 homes sold, a decrease of 19.3 percent
  • Racine County, 162 homes sold, a 4.5 percent increase
  • Kenosha County, 109 homes sold, a 9.2 percent decrease
  • Walworth County, 80 homes sold, a decrease of 9.1 percent

Brokers attribute a lack of affordable inventory as a major cause of the lower sales, according to GMAR. There are many first-time homebuyers and empty-nesters still looking, but there are simply not enough listings available — especially under $300,000.

A positive sign that may address deficiency in sales is the increase in listings recorded in January. This is a trend that also was carried over from 2018, noted GMAR.

The four-county area of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties saw listings increase 1.9 percent in January vs. the same month in 2018. This is the fourth consecutive month of increased listings.

The uptick in listings is almost exclusively due to Waukesha County, which saw a 20.8 percent increase for the month. Milwaukee County was essentially flat, with a 0.3 percent increase in listings. Washington County saw a 24.9 percent drop in listings, while Ozaukee County saw a decrease of 4.8 percent.

Racine and Kenosha counties saw an increase in listings in January, up 5.1 percent and 16.4 percent, respectively. Walworth County saw a 3.6 percent drop.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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