State home sales rose 2.8% in January

Inventory of homes for sale plunges

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:11 am

Home sales in Wisconsin rose 2.8 percent in January, compared to January of 2017, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association’s latest report.

The number of home sales rose despite a sharp decline in listings. The inventory of homes for sale in the state was down 16.4 percent in January to 24,607. That represents a supply (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) of just 3.5 percent. That is a seller’s market. A 6-month supply is considered a balanced market.

The number of new listings in January was down 4.5 percent in the state, compared to January of 2017.

“Tight inventories dominated Wisconsin’s housing market throughout 2017 and that challenge has continued into the first month of the new year,” said WRA chairman Peter Sveum. “Strong economies typically translate into strong home sales. The only factor holding us back from an even stronger housing market is lack of supply.”

With rising sales and declining inventory, home sale prices continue to rise. The median home sales price in the state was up 6.8 percent in January, compared to a year ago, to $168,500.

In southeastern Wisconsin the number of sales were up 2.8 percent in January and the median sales price rose 4.8 percent to $162,250.

Median home sale prices by county in January:

  • Washington, $250,000, up 22 percent
  • Walworth, $201,950, up 15.7 percent
  • Racine, $158,900, up 14.9 percent
  • Ozaukee, $285,000, up 12 percent
  • Waukesha, $270,250, up 9.6 percent
  • Milwaukee, $138,000, up 7.4 percent
  • Kenosha, $160,000, up 1.3 percent
  • Sheboygan, $129,000, down 7.9 percent

“Rapid price growth is a result of high demand, fueled by a great economy and very low mortgage rates,” said WRA president and CEO, Michael Theo. “The good news is low mortgage rates, combined with solid income growth, have kept our housing affordable, even as home prices have grown at a rapid pace,” “One big concern, however, is that the strong economy has begun to generate more inflation, and the threat of inflation is what causes long-term interest rates to move up, which will further erode our affordability.”

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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