Metropolitan Milwaukee home sales are still rebounding strong after a coronavirus-fueled spring slump, as sales were up "an astounding" 28.2% year-over-year in September, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
In its monthly home-sales report, GMAR noted the four-county metro area of Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Waukesha counties would normally see fewer than 2,000 homes sold in September as buyers and sellers turn their attention toward other matters, such as the new school year.
"Of course, 2020 is no typical year as sales have stayed above 2,200 (units per month) into the fall," wrote GMAR.
The entire southeastern region, which also includes Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties, saw similarly strong sales growth of 26.7% versus September 2019.
Home sales in Walworth and Milwaukee counties were particularly strong, up 59.6% and 36.9% respectively over September 2019. Sales were up across the board, and up by 2.2% in Kenosha County, 14.2% in Ozaukee County, 18% in Waukesha County, 19.9% in Racine County and 23.7% in Washington County.
GMAR noted the unusually high home-sales numbers of late come after a pause in the market between April and June. This was due to statewide and local stay-at-home orders that impacted nearly every industry, including residential real estate.
[caption id="attachment_514090" align="alignright" width="366"] The Sales Comparison graph shows how the metro Milwaukee housing market was in sync for the first three months of the year. Credit: GMAR[/caption]
Home sales began their rebound in July and August, beating out performance from 2019. The solid sales continued into the fall, putting 2020 504 units ahead of where area sales numbers were at this time last year.
GMAR said the fact sales are up 0.3% through the third quarter is a "testament to the strength of buyer demand." The market is on pace for annual sales of around 21,000 units.
The average sale price was roughly $323,500 through the third quarter for the metro Milwaukee area. This was up 8.7% over the same period last year. Average sale price for the entire region, meanwhile, was up 10.5% to roughly $306,300.
Seasonally adjusted inventory, which estimates how many months it would take to sell the existing homes on the market, stood at 3.4 months. When subtracting from that inventory the homes that have an "active offer," the inventory was only 1.4 months.
Generally, six months of inventory is considered a balanced market. Inventory below six month favors sellers, and inventory exceeding six months is a buyer’s market.