Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 am
Low inventory is to blame for the slight decrease in Milwaukee-area home sales in July, according to the latest report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
Sales in the four-county area were down 0.1 percent percent in July, with 2,197 homes sold, compared to 2,199 sold in July of 2015.
This was only the third time in 23 months home sales decreased from the prior year.
“The decrease in sales is not related to a slowdown in purchases, rather, it is a sign that not enough homes are available for the pool of current buyers,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
Sellers are not putting their homes on the market because they do not feel the home has made up its value lost during the Great Recession and sellers also don’t see any homes they want to move into, Ruzicka said.
“An older suburban couple, for example, who wants to downsize to a condo in downtown Milwaukee, is hard pressed to find an available unit – delaying the sale of their current home,” 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 all price points in July was 5.8 months, down slightly from 6 months in June. Six months of inventory is generally regarded as a “balanced” market, in which sellers and buyers are evenly matched in price negotiations.
Ozaukee County saw the biggest decrease in housing sales, with 144 sales in July 2016, compared to 172 in July 2015, a 16.3 percent decrease. Waukesha County had an 8 percent decrease. Milwaukee County actually experienced an increase in housing sales in July, with 1,179 home sales, up from 1,098 in July 2015, a 7.4 percent increase. Washington County remained relatively the same.
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