Statewide home sales declined sharply last month

June is typically strongest month of year for home sales

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Sales of existing homes in the state as a whole and its southeastern region decreased sharply in June while prices continued rising well above the rate of inflation, according to the most recent report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The WRA report found, relative to June 2018, home sales fell 9.7% statewide and 6.2% in the eight-county southeastern region, which includes Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha counties. Likewise, the median price of homes increased 10.3% statewide and 7% in southeastern Wisconsin.

As for the first half of the year, home sales decreased 5.1% and the median price increased 7.7% throughout the state, while sales fell 3.1% and the median price went up 9.9% in the southeastern region. This is compared to the first six months of 2018.

The median price of homes statewide was $215,000 in June and $195,000 year to date. May marked the first month that the median statewide home price exceeded $200,000. The median price in southeastern Wisconsin was $230,000 in June and $210,000 for the first six months of the year.

The decline in existing-home sales comes during a month that is traditionally the strongest of the year for sales, WRA officials noted.

“Normally, a strong economy and low mortgage rates produce solid sales growth, but
our persistent lack of homes for sale kept June sales well below last year’s levels,” Jean Stefaniak, WRA chairman, said in a news release.

The inventory of homes for sale for June stood at five months’ worth of supply. This is slightly lower than the same month last year, when inventories stood at 5.1 months.

Stefaniak noted inventories were especially tight in larger cities throughout the state.

Specifically, the counties that have cities of at least 50,000 residents had just 4.1 months of supply (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market at a given time) for the month, which is considered a seller’s market. Counties with smaller towns and cities, with populations between 10,000 and 49,999, had 5.8 months of available supply, which is considered a fairly balanced market. Rural counties had 8.6 months of supply, indicating a buyer’s market.

Counties that make up the southeast region had 4.1 months of supply in June, nearly identical to the 4 months of supply in June of last year.

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Alex Zank
Alex Zank covers commercial and residential real estate for BizTimes. Alex previously worked for Farm Equipment magazine and also covered statewide construction news at The Daily Reporter. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he studied journalism, political science and economics. Having grown up in rural western Wisconsin, Alex loves all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, four-wheeling and hunting.

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