Metro Milwaukee home sales up 11% in February

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Record year on track for Wisconsin housing market

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

The number of homes sold in the four-county metro Milwaukee area was up 11 percent in February, compared to February of 2017.

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There were 1,049 homes sold in the area during the month, compared to 945 a year ago, according to the latest data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

It was the highest number of homes sold in the area in the month of February since February of 2006.

The biggest sales increase was in Washington County, which had 117 homes sold in February, up 50 percent from a year ago. Home sales in Ozaukee County were down 5.5 percent for the month. Sales in Milwaukee County were up 11.4 percent and in Waukesha County they were up 1.9 percent.

Outside of the four-county metro area, February home sales in Kenosha County were up 7.3 percent, while sales dipped 4.5 percent in Racine County.

Realtors expect the brisk sales pace to continue.

“Looking forward to the height of the selling season, typically March through July, there are no signs that the market will slow down,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka.

“The metro area has enjoyed a strong sales market since the beginning of 2015,” Ruzicka said. “The influx of first-time buyers, accounting for 40 percent of the market, historically low interest rates, and a strong regional job market, all provide fuel for a hot market.”

Despite the healthy sales numbers, listings of homes for sale in the area remain low. The four-county area saw a 10.7 percent decrease in listings in February to 1,780. Listings in Kenosha County were down 34.7 percent and in Racine County they were down 28.2 percent.

In January and February, the metro Milwaukee area had 3,416 homes listed for sale, the lowest start to any year this century, according to the GMAR.

“The biggest constraint in real estate sales is the availability of homes for sale,” Ruzicka said.

The seasonally adjusted inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for February was 3.2 months. That is a strong seller’s market. Generally six months of inventory is considered a balanced market.

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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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