Milwaukee home sales skyrocket 44.2%

The southeastern Wisconsin housing market continued its resurgence in April, with the number of homes sold rising 44.2 percent over the number sold in the same month a year ago, according to the latest report released today by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).

April is the 10th consecutive month in which Milwaukee-area home sales have increased by double-digits. April sales (1,541) were about even with sales in April of 2010 (1,555), at the height of the federal tax credit.
April is usually the first notably busy month of the year for Realtors as they take listings and help buyers find homes, according to Mike Ruzicka, president of the GMAR Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
This year, however, agents have been active much earlier than typical, he said. The combination of unusually warm weather, gradually increasing consumer confidence,  low interest rates and low prices have established a firm pattern of recovery in the metropolitan Milwaukee housing market, Ruzicka said.
The abundant inventory that had been characteristic of the Milwaukee market over the last few years, seems to be waning, as listings have declined in three of the last four months, down 4.3 percent in April, he said.
Brokers are reporting significant tightening of listings in certain communities around the area, he said. This is a noteworthy exception to a “typical” spring market when new listings are abundant, he said.
There are 13,157 active listings in the MLS at this time, which represents 8.5-months of inventory, a steep decline from the 10.5-months of just a month ago in March, and nearly half of the 15.4-months the market had in January.
The supply of foreclosed properties in the hardest-hit area in the City of Milwaukee push up the region’s average supply numbers, so the inventory level is probably even lower in suburban communities and even some neighborhoods within the city, Ruzicka said.
According to the report:
Milwaukee County home sales were up 38.8 percent in April over 2011 (910 sales vs. 658 sales).
Waukesha County home sales were up 46.4 percent over April 2011 (410 sales vs. 280).
Washington County home sales were up 68.8 percent over April 2011 (118 sales vs. 70).
Ozaukee County home sales were up 68.9 percent over April 2011 (103 sales vs. 61).


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