State’s housing market returns to pre-recession strength

Home for sale
Record year on track for Wisconsin housing market

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

Wisconsin’s housing market in the first half of 2016 was the strongest since before the Great Recession, according to the latest report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Home sales in the first six months of this year were up 5.5 percent over the first half of 2015 and median prices were 4.5 percent higher than the first half of last year, at $162,000 in 2016 compared to $155,000 in 2015.

Home for sale

The state’s housing market had the strongest first half of the year, and the strongest second quarter, since 2005, according to the report.

For June, home sales were up 3.4 percent this year over last and prices were 3.8 percent higher in 2016, rising to $174,900.

“The last time we saw June prices hit $170,000 was 2007, just before the recession began,” said WRA president and CEO, Michael Theo. “Home prices have been rising since the spring of 2012. Our prices are 23.2 percent higher than where they were in June of 2012, clearly outpacing inflation over that period,”

“June is typically our strongest month for sales and the market this year continues to be impressive,” said K.C. Maurer, WRA board chairman. “Wisconsin saw more sales closed in June of 2016 than in any month since before 2005. Homes are moving quickly. The average time on the market fell to 86 day in June, which is very fast. With homes selling this quickly, buyers need to have their financing lined up so they can move quickly when opportunities present themselves.”

The supply of homes for sale in the state is tightening. The state had 46,550 homes available for sale in June, which represents 7.1 months of available supply (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time). Peak inventory levels were at more than 72,000 on the market in the area in August of 2010. The supply of homes for sale is now 13.9 percent below the levels of one year ago, according to the WRA report.

“Our tight inventories have fueled the upward pressure on prices,” said Theo.

Year to date median home sale prices by county, compared to a year ago:

  • Sheboygan, $130,000, up 8.6 percent
  • Milwaukee, $140,000, up 6.1 percent
  • Kenosha, $148,500, up 5.7 percent
  • Waukesha, $258,000, up 5.3 percent
  • Ozaukee, $257,000, up 4.9 percent
  • Walworth, $177,500, up 2.3 percent
  • Washington, $201,900, up 2.0 percent
  • Racine, $138,000, up 0.7 percent

Read more economic data reports on the BizTracker page.

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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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