Metro Milwaukee home sales rose in August

Following the improved pace for home sales set in July, sales in the Metropolitan Milwaukee market for August were 41.4 percent ahead of sales in August of 2010.

However, the increase in home sales in July and August is hardly surprising because home sales in 2010 plunged after the home buyers tax credit expired at the end of June 2010.

In August of this year, total home sales were 1,338 sales compared to 946 a year ago, in the four-county metropolitan Milwaukee area, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).

Affordable, first-time home sales were again a strong segment in the marketplace, as investors and older members of “Gen Y” bought homes. That trend should continue for the foreseeable future, the GMAR said.

Of sales in August, 62.9 percent (830 units) were $199,999 or less in the four-county area; 21 percent (277) were in the $200,000 range; 7.9 percent (104) were in the $300,000 range; 3.7 percent (49) were in the $400,000 range; and 4.5% (59) were $500,000 or more.
County-by-county total sales included:

  • Milwaukee County was up 39.6 percent in sales over August 2010 (747 units vs. 535)
  • Waukesha County was up 34.3 percent vs. 2010 (372 compared with 277)
  • Washington County was up 92.3 percent compared to 2010 (125 vs. 65)
  • Ozaukee County was up 36.2 percent vs. a year ago (94 vs. 69)

“Although, the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates low is a positive sign that inflation is not an imminent threat, brokers report that the hangover left by recent turmoil in the stock market, federal deficit negotiations and state recall elections, are still putting a damper on consumer confidence,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR. “Another drag on the recovery of the real estate market is the artificial suppression of demand due to federal lending regulations. In many cases, deals are falling apart because credit-worthy buyers cannot get a loan.

“Despite declining listings month-over-month, the marketplace had 9.7 months of inventory in August. That is not a terrible level of inventory, but with all of the incentives to purchase (low prices, low interest rates, wide selection, etc.) the market should be operating more efficiently.”

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