Milwaukee area home sales up 7.1 percent in 2016

First time since 2005 that more than 21,000 houses sold in area

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

The number of homes sold in the metropolitan Milwaukee area increased by 7.1 percent in 2016, compared to 2015, with 21,007 houses sold, marking the first time since 2005 more than 21,000 houses were sold in the area.

Home sales are strong across the region.
Home sales are strong across the region.

The increase was truly remarkable given the declining pool of available homes the market has produced for several months, said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
Throughout the year, inventory (the amount of time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) has been under six months, which is considered a balanced market.

The seasonally adjusted inventory level for December was 3.8 months, a drop from November’s 4.6 month level.

Home sales were down 1 percent in December in the Metropolitan Milwaukee market. That was only the third month of the year with negative sales compared to a year ago.

Milwaukee County saw the largest increase in home sales in 2016 with 11,544 homes sold, up 10.3 percent from the previous year. Ozaukee County was second with a 4.8 percent increase.

The average sale price in all four counties was up in 2016 with Waukesha County leading the way with the largest dollar gain.

The average sales price in Waukesha County was $303,503, up 5 percent, or $14,061 from 2015. The average sales price in Milwaukee County was $168,319 in 2016, also up 5 percent, or $8,096.

The average home sale price in the four county market in 2016 was 3.4 percent away from returning to its peak pre-Great Recession average sale price in 2007 of $261,280, Ruzicka said.

“Milwaukee County has the farthest to go, at 14.6 percent, to get back to its 2007 pre-recessionary high of $192,844, because it is the largest and most diverse market within the region,” he said.

Waukesha County peaked at $310,688 in 2007, and is 2.4 percent from that point. Washington County is only 1 percent below its 2007 peak price of $231,052. Ozaukee County peaked in 2008 at $315,871, and is 1.9 percent away from that price point.

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