Homes sales in the four-county metro Milwaukee area were down 14.5% in 2022, compared to 2021, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
For December, home sales in the metro Milwaukee area were down 35.2%, year-over-year, according to the report.
In the greater southeastern Wisconsin area, December home sales were down 36.2% compared to a year ago.
“2022 was a tale of two markets,” the GMAR market states. “The first half was a continuation of the pandemic-fueled buying frenzy. Sales during that period were running slightly behind the same time in 2021 - a record setting year. During the second half of the year interest rates doubled, causing buyers and sellers to tap the brakes on getting into the market and leading to a double-digit sales decline from 2021. Nonetheless, demand among many buyers did not wane. Demand should remain strong for years to come.”
While the number of homes sold in the metro Milwaukee area was down in 2022, home sale prices continued to rise. For the year, home sale prices in the metro area and the greater southeastern Wisconsin region were up 9%, according to GMAR.
Here’s the average home sale price breakdown for 2022 by county:
Waukesha: $478,503, +11.6%
Racine: $276,282, +9.9%
Walworth: $467,335, +9.0%
Washington: $365,238, +8.4%
Kenosha: $298,306, +7.9%
Ozaukee: $475,748, +7.7%
Milwaukee: $258,281, +7.4%
The hottest local housing market community in the region during 2022 was Elm Grove, according to the GMAR report. There were 122 homes sold in Elm Grove during the year, at an average sale price of $618,186. That’s the same number of homes that were sold in the village in 2021, but home sale prices were up 19% from 2021. And, the average number of days that an Elm Grove home was on the market dropped by 24% in 2022.
GMAR continues to say the local housing market needs more homes listed for sale. In the fourth quarter of 2022, listing in the metro area were down 14.3% from a year ago and in the greater southeastern Wisconsin region listings were down 13.9%.
“Unfortunately, the market could not rise to the challenge and provide enough listings for those looking for a home last year,” the GMAR report states. “The 2022 market saw listings decline in 10 of 12 months. The absence of listings, which has been a drag on the market for years, had two root causes. First, would-be sellers could not find a place to move into because other would-be sellers were not listing their homes, creating a vicious cycle. Second, new construction would normally add 3,000 to 4,000 more units to the market annually, but that market segment has been down by 50% for several years.
"In December the market could have used an additional 6,870 units on top of the 2,926 that were sold. The pressure of high demand on low supply can only be expressed through increasing prices, and that is what the metropolitan market saw in 2022. Every county in the region saw its average sales price increase by at least 7%. Listings are dangerously low because if the region does not create additional supply in the form of more single-family and condominium units, thousands of would-be homeowners will be forced into rental units, foregoing the opportunity to build wealth through a home’s equity and all of the other benefits of homeownership. That will result in problems decades down the road when families do not have enough home equity to tap into for college expenses, to remodel their home, or for emergencies.”