Wisconsin home sales slip in February

Tight inventory, rising prices are to blame

Month after month of tight inventory, coupled with rising home prices resulted in a slip in home sales across the state in February.

Home sales across the state slowed in February.
Home sales across the state slowed in February.

Home sales in Wisconsin decreased 2.6 percent last month compared to February 2016, according to the latest data released by the Wisconsin Realtors Association. At the same time, the median home price rose 6.1 percent to $154,900, well above the annual inflation rate of 2.5 percent.

In southeast Wisconsin, the median sale price is $161,750, up 7.8 percent from February 2016. The highest increase was in Sheboygan County, where home prices saw a 47.8 percent increase from $90,625 to $133,900.

“Needless to say, February is not a month where we see a lot of home sales in Wisconsin, but we would have expected stronger sales given the strength of the economy and relatively low mortgage rates,” said Erik Sjowall, chairman of the WRA board. “

Sales were down in five of the six regions of the state with only the northeast region experiencing a 6.1 percent sales increase. The other regions fell anywhere from 2.6 percent to 11.4 percent.

In southeast Wisconsin, home sales fell 2.9 percent, with the Kenosha County taking the largest hit with a 23.2 percent decrease. There were 142 homes sold in Kenosha County in February 2016. Last month, 109 homes were sold in Kenosha County.

Tight inventory has been to blame for the sluggish home sales. There is only a 4.5 month supply of homes statewide. A balanced market is six months.

“The strong demand and limited supply have been putting significant price pressure on the existing home market,” said WRA president and CEO Michael Theo. “The market has shifted from a buyer’s market just two years ago to a strong seller’s market today.”

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