Contact: Mike Ruzicka
March 10, 2009 – Sales were down 11.9% in February compared to a year ago, according to housing statistics released by Metro MLS, Inc. today.
The decrease in sales figures was expected given the chaotic economic news we are hearing about each day from Washington, DC and Wall Street.
There is pent up demand in the market, however, due to household formation and the demographic impact of “Generation Y.” Buyers are just starting to express their energy in the market, which they did not do in February, according to reports from area brokers who say calls and web inquiries have increased in the first two weeks of March.
The GMAR believes that the market in southeastern Wisconsin has put the majority of the housing correction behind it – faring much better than most other markets in the nation. What we are experiencing now is a market that has plateaued at a more affordable level, but will experience slight ups and downs until the overall economy recovers.
The dynamic of sellers wanting to overprice their home and buyers offering substantial discounts is still present and REALTORS® are working hard to educate both sides on the dynamics in their specific neighborhood market.
On the listing side, February was the 22nd straight month in which listings were down compared to the previous year, down 6.2% compared to February 2007. Listings should begin to increase as we head into the spring selling market.
Buyers – especially first-time buyers – should recognize that the combination of historically low interest rates, plentiful supply of homes, discounted prices, and the $8,000 federal tax credit present a unique opportunity to buy a home and build future equity as the market improves.
In these confusing times, consumers should remember to “Start With A REALTOR®” before consulting with a lender or other housing professional.
Kathy Domagalski, Coldwell Banker – Cedarburg (2009 GMAR Chair) c: 414.791.1602
Dave Schmidt, Jr., Dave Schmidt Realty – Milwaukee (MLS Chair) c: 414.881.6809
Beth Jaworski, Shorewest Realtors – Milwaukee/Wauwatosa o: 414.476.9070, x218
Scott Heyerdahl, Premiere Properties – Waukesha County c: 262.719.6970