Home sales were down by 2.1% across the seven-county southeastern Wisconsin region in May, according to report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).
The drop follows a trend that most of the country has seen due to a lack of housing inventory.
Despite the lack of homes on the market, Mike Ruzicka, GMAR president, says the housing market remains strong across the region, especially in the four-county metro Milwaukee area, which includes Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.
Home sales were down across the metro area by 1.7% compared to last May.
“To put this into perspective, the 2021 market was the best ever. A slight decline compared to a record sales year is not a concern. The market is still operating at a very high level,” Ruzicka wrote in the report. “Year-to-date through May there were 7,653 sales versus 7,759 in ‘21, a 1.4% drop (106 units). Again, a small decline confirming the strength of the current market.”
Some counties saw a far bigger drop in sales – Kenosha saw a 7.1% drop, Walworth a 9.7% dip – while other counties saw an increase in sales. Ozaukee County saw a 7% increase. Racine County saw a 4.3% increase. Washington County saw a 9.3% increase.
Listings were down by 5% across the greater, seven-county region (which besides the four-county metro Milwaukee area also includes Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counites), and by 4.5% in the four-county metro area. That’s a trend that is likely to continue, Ruzicka wrote. Walworth saw the largest dip in listings, with a 19.3% drop. Milwaukee County saw a 7.8% drop.
“The scarcity of inventory plaguing the market will continue well into the future. To reach a balanced market (six months of inventory, or the time to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) the four-county area needed 7,150 additional units in May. That month there was only enough inventory to satisfy 2.3 months of buyer demand, and if we subtract units with an offer on them that level drops to 0.8 months,” he wrote. “The systemic problem with the market is the lack of new construction of single-family houses and condominiums, and over production of apartments.”