Contact: Mike Ruzicka
414.778.4929 or 414.870.1876
August 12, 2011 – July sales of homes in the Metropolitan Milwaukee real estate market improved dramatically over sales in July of 2010. Sales increased 45.6% to 1,289 sales compared to 885 a year ago, in the 4-county metropolitan area.
The reason for the huge jump in sales is two-fold: First, the pace of sales improved after falling off severely once the federal tax credits expired in 2010. The second reason for the increase was that buyers were taking advantage of big discounts in the market, with prices down about 30% from the peak.
Affordable, first-time home sales is a growing segment in the marketplace. As the oldest members of “Gen Y” start deciding to buy homes, the metropolitan marketplace should continue to see an increase in sales among this demographic group.
In fact, of sales this July, 61.7% (784 units) were $199,999 or less in the 4-county area, signifying a large movement of homes in the investor and first-time buyer categories. 22.2% (282) of sales were in the $200,000 range; 8.7% (111) were in the $300,000 range; 3.2% (41) were in the $400,000 range; and 4.1% (52) of sales were $500,000 or more.
5-County analysis of sales by price point:
*Units were calculated on the 1st of the month for the preceding month, and may differ from other calculations selected on different dates.
County-by-county sales analysis:
* Milwaukee County was up 43.8% in sales over 2010 (696 units vs. 484 units).
* Waukesha County was up 44.3% vs. 2010 (381 compared with 264).
* Washington County was up 29.5% compared to 2010 (101 vs. 78).
* Racine County was up 61.3% vs. 2010 (179 compared to 111).
* Ozaukee County was up 88.1% vs. a year ago (111 vs. 59).
Looking ahead, brokers are worried about the effect of recent turmoil in the stock market, federal deficit negotiations, and state recall elections, on consumer confidence. Although, the Federal Reserve’s decision to keep interest rates low is a positive sign that inflation is not an imminent threat.
Another drag on the recovery of the real estate market is federal regulations pertaining to lending, which is having the effect of suppressing demand.
The artificial suppression of demand and lack of consumer confidence is manifesting itself in excess supply. The 4-county marketplace had 10.3 months of inventory in July (up from June’s 9.5 months). With all of the incentives to purchase (low prices, low interest rates, wide selection, etc.) the market should be operating more efficiently.
In these confusing times, buyers and sellers should remember to “Start With A REALTOR®” before beginning their home search or consulting with another housing professional.
The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® is a 4,000-member strong professional organization dedicated to providing information, services and products to “help REALTORS® help their clients” buy and sell real estate.