Home sales in the four-county metro Milwaukee area were down 22.6% in February, year-over-year, with 877 homes sold compared to 1,133 in February of 2022, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
Home sales in the greater southeastern area were down 26% in February, year-over-year, according to the GMAR report.
February home sales by county, and change from February of 2022:
Waukesha, 223, -9.7%
Washington, 63, -19.2%
Milwaukee, 534, -26.8
Ozaukee, 57, -26.9%
Kenosha, 95, -28%
Racine, 142, -32.1%
Walworth, 60, -46.4%
Despite the decline in sales, average home sale prices in February rose 1.9% in the Milwaukee area year-over-year. GMAR says that's because there is still a lack of supply on the market in southeastern Wisconsin to satisfy demand. However, the February average home sale price increase was much lower than the 9.5% increase in December and 6.6% increase in January.
Listings of homes for sale declined in February, dipping 23.1% year-over-year in the four-county metro area and 21% in the seven-county southeastern Wisconsin region, according to GMAR.
The market needs more single-family home condominium construction to add needed supply to the local housing market, GMAR says.
"The metropolitan (Milwaukee housing) market is contending with a years-long trend of not creating enough new or existing homes to satisfy buyers needs," GMAR said in its report. "The systemic problem with the market is the lack of new construction of single-family houses and condominiums, and over reliance on apartments to satisfy demand. That bottleneck combined with the demographic surge of Millennial and GenZ buyers and good interest rates have all contributed to a historically tight market. The imminent danger for the region if it does not create additional supply in the form of more single-family and condominium units, is that thousands of would-be homeowners will be forced to continue to rent, foregoing the opportunity to build wealth through a home’s equity and all of the other benefits of homeownership. Rather they have been, and will continue to, pay thousands of dollars a year in rent with no ability to save for a down payment – pushing off their opportunity to achieve the American Dream even further."