Metro Milwaukee home sales up 3.5% in October

Home sales in the metro Milwaukee area were up 3.5 percent in October, compared to October of 2012, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Assocation of Realtors (GMAR).

The four-county metro area had 1,434 home sales in the month, compared to 1,386 homes sales in October of 2012.

Milwaukee County had the biggest increase in sales, posting a 5.1 percent increase in October, compared to October of 2012.

“The 3.5 percent increase in regional sales may be a sign that the marketplace is settling into a more gradual sales pace,” said GMAR president Mike Ruzicka. “Rather than seeing large, double-digit increases, fueled by discounts and low prices, steady sales increases would point to a market with competitive pricing and neither buyers nor sellers dominating a transaction.”

The number of homes put up for sale in the metro area increased for the seventh month in a row in October. This is the first time the market has seen a sustained period of increased listings since before the Great Recession, according to Ruzicka. Listings are up 8.6 percent in the metro area from a year ago.

The market now has a supply (the amount of time it would take to sell all of the homes currently for sale) of 7.5 months, down from 7.6 months in September and 11.4 months a year ago.

“The 8.6 percent increase in listings is a sign of a healthy real estate market, as sellers trust they will receive a competitive price for their homes, but the number of current listings without an active offer indicates the market has room for more,” Ruzicka said. “The market is proving to be very balanced in contrast to the wild swings we saw over the last decade. Sellers should not assume they will get whatever they ask for, and buyers should know the days of deep discounts are gone.”

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