Milwaukee-area home sales up 12.3% in May

Tight inventory driving up prices

Home for sale
Record year on track for Wisconsin housing market

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

Home sales in metropolitan Milwaukee continue to increase, with sales up 12.3 percent in May, compared to May 2015.Home for sale

Last month, 2,111 homes sold, according to the latest numbers available from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. Comparing numbers to May 2014, sales are up 24.4 percent.

May also marked the 19th month of increased home sales out of the last 21 months, dating back to September 2014, said Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR.

January 2015 and March 2016 were the only months in this time frame that had negative sales.

Inventory continues to be tight, particularly for homes priced at less than $300,000. In May, inventory was 5.9 months. Six to eight months of inventory is generally regarded as a “balanced” market, where sellers and buyers are evenly matched in price negotiations.

“Another way to look at inventory is by eliminating those listings that have an active offer on them, because most listings with an active offer continue through to a complete sale,” Ruzicka said in a written statement. “Subtracting the 2,967 listings with an active offer from the 9,537 current listings presents an effective inventory level of 3.2 months, just higher than April’s 3.1 month level.  A year ago, the same calculation showed May’s inventory level at 4.9 months.”

In the metro Milwaukee area of Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties, there were 2,868 home listings in May, down 5.8 percent from May 2015.

With inventory levels continuously low throughout the region, the law of supply and demand dictates prices should rise, Ruzicka said. That is what is happening in the market.

Actual sales prices will not be available until the end of the second quarter, but brokers are reporting multiple offers, with price increases on many listings, Ruzicka said.

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