Metro Milwaukee home sales increased in July

Listings up, but market still favors sellers

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Last updated on August 30th, 2019 at 10:33 am

Home sales in the four-county metro Milwaukee area were up 3.8 percent in July, with a total of 2,263 homes sold, compared to July of 2018, the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors reported today.

The July sales increase was an improvement for the market from June when metro Milwaukee home sales posted a 5.8 percent year-over-year decline.

Southeastern Wisconsin July home sales by county, compared to July of 2018:

  • Ozaukee, 168, up 28.2%
  • Washington, 212, up 12.8%
  • Kenosha, 242, up 9.0%
  • Milwaukee, 1,214, up 1.3%
  • Waukesha, 669, up 0.9%
  • Racine, 266, up 0.8%
  • Walworth, 186, down 3.1%

“Given the strong regional economy – low unemployment, household growth, low interest rates – it’s no surprise there was healthy demand for homes by those seeking them,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka. “While the market is clearly in favor of sellers, many buyers are pushing back and not accepting sellers’ ‘ take it or leave it’ attitude. Multiple offers have slowed slightly, and, therefore, buyers are making counter-demands. And, properties much be in good, move in condition to attract good quality buyers.”

The metro Milwaukee home sale pace of 2019 remains 0.6 percent behind the 2018 sales pace for the first seven months of the year, according to GMAR.

The number of homes listed for sale in the metro Milwaukee area was up 4.1% year-over-year in July, including a 46% increase in listings in Ozaukee County.

But despite the increase of listings, the metro Milwaukee housing market remains a seller’s market. The inventory of homes for sale (how long it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) was 4.0 months in July. Generally a 6-month inventory is considered a balanced market, a lower inventory is a seller’s market and a higher inventory is a buyer’s market.

“Listings are still not adequate to meet supply,” Ruzicka said. “The metropolitan (Milwaukee) market could use an additional 3,350 listings, more than half priced under $300,000, to come close to satisfying current demand. That’s on top of the 6,687 listings currently in MLS.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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