Milwaukee area home sales up 3.7 percent in April

Homes under $300,000 are selling the fastest

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

The residential housing market remained strong entering the second quarter of 2018, with metropolitan Milwaukee home sales up 3.7 percent in April compared to the same time last year.

Home sales were up 3.7 percent in April.

There were 1,843 homes sold last month, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors’ most recent report.

April was one of the strongest months for the local housing market since 2000, according to GMAR. Only April 2005 and 2016 saw more sales than April 2018.

Homes under $300,000 are selling the fastest with first-time home buyers accounting for approximately 40 percent of the market.

As the market approached the height of the selling season, which is March through July, many brokers expected to see sellers take advantage of rising prices, but Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR, said that has not happened. Buyers are out in force, but the availability of homes for sale is creating a bottleneck, Ruzicka said.

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

In the metropolitan Milwaukee area, homes under $300,000 accounted for 73.7 percent of homes sold in April. Just over 60 percent of homes sold in under 30 days, and 76.4 percent sold in under 60 days.

In Racine County, homes under $300,000 accounted for 86 percent of homes sold in April. Of those, 64 percent sold in under 30 days, and 78.5 percent sold in under 60 days. For Kenosha County, 85.5 percent of homes sold were under $300,000. Almost 60 percent of all sales were under 30 days, and 78.8 percent of homes sold in under 60 days.

Inventory continues to be tight. The seasonally adjusted inventory level (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for April was 3.6 months, up from March’s 3.4 month level. The seasonally adjusted level was 4.7 months in April 2017. Generally, six months of inventory is considered a “balanced” market. If inventory falls below six months, the market favors sellers; and when inventory exceeds six months, it is a buyer’s market.

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