Milwaukee-area home sales continued record-breaking pace in June

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Last updated on July 14th, 2021 at 02:06 pm

The metropolitan Milwaukee housing market continued shattering records through the first half of the year, with second-quarter home sales up year-over-year by 15.3% and June sales up 29.4%.

High demand and low inventory still characterize the local housing market, though more homes were listed for sale in June than in recent months.

In its monthly report, the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors noted the 10,253 homes sold in the area during the first half of the year were the most ever, and the 2,494 homes sold in the area in June were the most in five years.

Each of the four metro-area counties — Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha — saw home sales increase by at least 23%. The highest was Milwaukee County, at 33.1%.

June home sales for southeastern Wisconsin, which includes Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties, saw an uptick of 27.4%. Second-quarter sales for the southeast region were up 16.2% year-over-year.

Meanwhile, listings increased 37.4% in June and 11.3% through the second quarter. Even so, there is still a great need for more, according to GMAR.

There was only enough inventory in June to satisfy three months’ worth of demand. When subtracting homes that were “active with offer” — the vast majority of which turn into a sale — inventory stood at 1.2 months. This was an increase of 37.4% year-over-year, though June 2020 was “the tail end” of the local housing market being impacted by COVID-19 and the statewide shutdown orders, GMAR noted.

June listings rose by 60% in Milwaukee County. They were up by 24% in Washington County and up by 11.6% in Waukesha County. Listings fell 6.5% in Ozaukee County. Second-quarter listings were up 12.8% for the metro area.

Southeast region listings were up 31.3% in June and up 11% for the second quarter. Walworth County joined Ozaukee County as the only places that did not see double-digit growth in listings for June. Its listings remained flat compared to June 2020.

GMAR estimates the local housing market needs an additional 5,650 units listed for sale in order to meet current demand. An inventory level of 6 months indicates a balanced market. Metro Milwaukee remained a strong seller’s market through the first half of 2021.

Inventory levels started off the year as unable to meet even a month’s worth of demand. After inventory (adjusting for active-with-offer listings) reached 19 days in March, it picked up slightly to 0.8 months in May.

Even so, June’s inventory numbers “are dangerously low,” said GMAR. Inventory has been lackluster for years.

The average home sale price for metro Milwaukee was up 15.4% through the second quarter, to $358,602. The southeast region saw a 17.7% uptick in sales price to $340,120.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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