Metro Milwaukee home sales nearly flat in November but on track for record year

Listings climbed, still not meeting demand

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Last updated on December 28th, 2021 at 02:32 pm

Metropolitan Milwaukee home sales were nearly flat last month, inching up by 0.3% over November 2020, according to the latest market data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

It’s true there was not much change year-over-year. But that is in part a reflection of a strong market in the fall and winter of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and strong demand. Relative to 2019, sales last month were up 24.5%.

Sales were mixed in the four-county metro Milwaukee area. Washington County saw the strongest sales increase, at 3.8%. Milwaukee County sales were up 2.6%. Waukesha and Ozaukee counties saw declining sales of 3.3% and 8.1%, respectively.

The entire seven-county region of southeastern Wisconsin identically saw a 0.3% sales bump relative to November last year. Sales were up in both Kenosha and Racine counties, at 9.1% and 8.8%, respectively. But sales in Walworth County fell sharply, by 23.4%.

This year is on pace for a new historic total of homes sold in the four county metro Milwaukee area. So far, there have been 21,336 homes sold in the area in 2021. Assuming December at least meets the five-year sales average, 2021 would reach 22,792 units sold. GMAR said that would be a new record.

Home prices in the metro Milwaukee area continued their climb in November. Average sales prices were up 3.8% over November 2020. The average price is now at nearly $310,300.

November listings were up 8.7% in the metro area. Year to date, listings were up 6.4% from the same period of 2020. Listings have been increasing in recent months, but there still hasn’t been enough to meet demand from buyers.

There was enough inventory of homes for sale to satisfy 2.5 months of demand. That indicates a continued strong sellers market. When taking away listings with an offer, inventory drops to one month. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market, and anything greater than that is considered a buyers market.

GMAR said the market needs an additional 6,850 units to meet demand.

Winter is usually a slower time for the housing market. But the pandemic created strong demand that lasted through the winter last year and into this year. GMAR said sellers would be smart to list their homes during the winter months due to continued strong demand and the relatively small number of listings compared to spring and summertime.

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Alex Zank, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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