April home sales, prices grew

April home sales and median prices were up significantly compared to last year, when the economic lockdown was in full force, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

While new listings were up compared to April 2020, total listings fell by nearly 30 percent this month. Months of supply fell to just 2.5 months statewide, dropping by more than 20 percent in every region in the state. All regions remain in a very strong seller’s market.

“Home prices have been rising quickly because of strong demand and weak supply in the market,” WRA President and CEO Michael Theo said. “Specifically, median home prices have increased at an annual pace of 9.7% or higher since July 2020. It is low mortgage rates that have kept our housing affordable.”

Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgage rates remained low at just over 3 percent in April, which has kept Wisconsin housing affordable even as median prices rose 9.9 percent over the past year.

“If we do start seeing more pronounced increases in mortgage rates, this will really start to erode affordability,” Theo said.

As of April, homes are moving quickly, as average days on the market dropped 14.1 percent to just 85 days in April, down from 99 days a year earlier.

All regions’ sales grew by solid margins in April, and the less-urbanized north and central regions are up two to three times that of other regions, said WRA Chair Mary Duff.

“This bounce in closed sales for April was expected since we are comparing to a depressed level of sales last April when the economy was in full lockdown as a result of the pandemic,” she said. “Still, the increase in sales was particularly impressive given the very tight inventory situation in the state.”

-By Stephanie Hoff