The southeastern Wisconsin housing market continued its stellar start to 2012 in February, with sales increasing 24.8 percent in the metropolitan area, according to the latest numbers released today by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).
February marked the eighth consecutive month of double-digit percentage increases in the number of homes sold in the region.
Brokers have been reporting a great deal of activity on their websites, at open houses and in showing requests since just after Thanksgiving 2011, which led to increased closings in January and February, according to Mike Ruzicka, president of the GMAR.
Brokers are reporting even more activity in the first two weeks of March, he said.
An unprecedented level of affordability and extremely low interest rates are factors contributing to the increased sales, Ruzicka said.
The National Association of Realtors reported, “Housing affordability conditions have reached the highest level since recordkeeping began in 1970…. NAR’s Housing Affordability Index rose to a record high 206.1 in January, based on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the greater the household purchasing power.”
With employment figures improving in the state, consumer confidence also appears to be rising, Ruzicka said.
County-by-county numbers in February included:
* Milwaukee County was up 21.1 percent in sales over 2011 (493 units vs. 407 units).
* Waukesha County was up 32.1 percent in sales over 2011 (222 sales compared with 168).
* Washington County was up 33.3 percent in sales over 2011 (68 vs. 51).
* Ozaukee County was up 20.0 percent in sales over 2011 (42 units vs. 35 units).