Metro Milwaukee home sales down 10.2 percent in first quarter

Home sales in metro Milwaukee for the first quarter of the year were down 10.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Most of the sales decrease was in March, when home sales were down 208 units from the previous March. Home sales were down by 28 in January and 97 in February.

Realtors say the exceptionally cold winter weather that hit the region this year contributed to the sales decline.

“A decrease in sales is not unusual in the winter months, and given the numerous polar vortexes that descended upon the region, buyers have decided to search online before going out,” said GMAR President Mike Ruzicka. “(The sales figures were a) sign of just how cold and long the winter was. Each month saw progressively worse sales performance compared to last year.”

Realtors are optimistic that sales will pick up as the temperature rises, Ruzicka said.

“Except for the weather, market conditions were good in the first quarter,” he said. “Interest rates, home prices and active buyers are situated to fuel a robust spring and summer market.”

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