TUE AM News: Milwaukee home buyers trending younger, report shows; Kooyenga joining MMAC as senior VP

— Home buyers in the Milwaukee market last year tended to be much younger than those at the national level, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. 

In a release yesterday, the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors highlighted some of the group’s top findings for Wisconsin’s largest metro area. The median age of home buyers in Milwaukee in 2022 was 39 years old, versus 53 years old for the United States overall. 

The two largest segments of home buyers in Milwaukee last year were those aged 25-34, with 29 percent; and 35-44, with 24 percent. At the national level, the two largest segments were those aged 55-64, making up 21 percent of all home buyers; and 65-74, also with 21 percent. 

In an interview, GMAR President Mike Ruzicka said he was surprised by “how dramatically different” the figures for Milwaukee were compared to the nation. 

“I think it’s really an encouraging trend for us, and we are skewing a little bit younger than other areas,” Ruzicka told WisBusiness.com yesterday. “It shows the vibrancy of Wisconsin.” 

Meanwhile, first-time buyers made up 35 percent of Milwaukee’s housing market in 2022, marking a decline from 45 percent in 2021. Nationwide, that figure fell from 34 percent to 26 percent over the same period. 

“If you look at Millennials and Gen Z, they’re in the beginning of their careers … they’re living in places where they want to live, not where they have to,” he said, noting quality of life is driving these decisions more than employer location. 

In a release yesterday, GMAR also noted 61 percent of buyers in the area saved up for their first down payment compared to 47 percent at the national level, in “a testament to the region’s frugalness.” 

“We’ve always noticed that Wisconsin in general, and the Milwaukee market, is — with the old German roots — people are just frugal,” Ruzicka said. “Not frugal in the way that they’re cheap, they’re just very careful with their money. It’s probably a good thing.” 

Looking ahead, Ruzicka says the state is “desperately in need of” more new home construction to meet demand in the coming decades. 

See the full report here: https://www.gmar.com/resources/research-statistics/2022-Profile-Home-Buyers-Sellers 

See a recent story on the need for more housing in Wisconsin: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2023/at-least-140000-more-housing-units-needed-to-meet-estimated-2030-demand/ 

— Former GOP state Sen. Dale Kooyenga is joining the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce in a role that puts him in position to take over the group in 2024.

Kooyenga told WisPolitics.com yesterday in a phone interview he will begin Jan. 17 as the group’s senior vice president. The plan is for him to take over as president in 2024 for Tim Sheehy, who has led the group since 1992.

Kooyenga said he will not lobby in his new position. Instead, he will focus on building relations and advancing MMAC priorities while studying how the group operates under Sheehy’s guidance.

Kooyenga said the newly created position will allow him to advocate for business and economic issues as well as issues such as education and tax policy that are part of a strong economy and business environment.

“This came to my attention, and the more I thought about it, the more I talked to people, I thought it was really perfect for my background,” Kooyenga said. “I have a real passion for economic and business issues.”

Kooyenga, who is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, said he will continue his 18-year career in the military while working as MMAC.

But he has closed the door on a political run in the near future. Kooyenga, 43, said he can’t predict where he’ll be in life in his late 50s or 60s. But he has committed to MMAC for the next decade.

“There is no plan. There will be no rumors. There will be no toying with the idea,” Kooyenga said. “I won’t be running for office anytime in the next decade.”

— Local officials in Madison have introduced a proposal that aims to improve energy efficiency for commercial buildings through new regulations. 

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Alders Tag Evers, Regina Vidaver and Grant Foster recently introduced the proposal for the Building Energy Savings Program at a meeting of the city’s Common Council. 

Commercial buildings in Madison account for about a third of the city’s carbon emissions, with larger facilities making up “a substantial portion of that total,” according to the release. 

Under the program, commercial buildings 25,000 square feet and larger would be required to use an online EPA tool called the Energy Star Portfolio Manager to annually benchmark their energy use. This process aims to help building owners and managers compare their energy use with similar facilities and reduce energy consumption. 

Meanwhile, commercial buildings 50,000 square feet and larger would also need to conduct a “tune-up” once every four years. This could include maintenance, minor repairs and other changes aimed at saving energy, the release shows. According to the mayor’s office, building tune-ups reduce energy use by 12 percent on average. 

According to the release, lowering energy use in buildings included in the program by up to 15 percent would reduce carbon emissions by about 92,000 to 137,000 tons per year. That’s equivalent to taking about 18,000 to 27,000 cars off the road, the release shows. 

The Economic Development Committee and Sustainable Madison Committee will review the code proposal before it goes to the Common Council for a decision in early February. 

See more details: https://www.wisbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/230109Madison.pdf 

— Gov. Tony Evers is expressing optimism a medical marijuana bill will arrive on his desk this session after Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu said there is growing support among his caucus. 

During an appearance on WISN’s “UpFront,” which is produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com, Evers said he would sign it as long as it wasn’t “flawed.”

“I don’t know as it relates to how restrictive it would be,” Evers said. “It seems to me it should be pretty straightforward, so we’ll see what it looks like. But I’m confident they will come up with a law, a bill that I can sign.” 

See more from the show: https://www.wisn.com/upfront 

<br><b><i>Top headlines from the Health Care Report … </b></i> 

— While the number of flu cases in Wisconsin remains relatively high, flu activity has begun to decline, according to the latest Department of Health Services report. 

And a Madison-based drug development company called Nimble Therapeutics is expanding a collaboration with California biotech firm Genentech. 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com.</i>

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# Wisconsin inches toward medical marijuana legalization as GOP leaders signal support


# ‘Are we poisoning ourselves?’: Town of Stella has no answers about PFAS


# CNH Industrial urges UAW members to reconsider contract rejection




– Boldt completes its new Appleton headquarters


– Survey: Despite recession expectations, many businesses optimistic about their own performance


– Out-of-state enrollments surge at UW System schools while resident enrollments fall


– More MMSD students are crowded into classrooms over district limits



– Art groups take stage in Milwaukee with Wisconsin’s first ‘theater district’



– Mental health focus of panel at Corn Soy Expo


– Madison telehealth startup DotCom Therapy names new CEO



– Partisan-backed Wisconsin court candidates vow to be fair


– Doctor suspended for falsely reporting COVID-19 vaccination status


– UW Health doctor sanctioned for role in orthopedic surgery death



– Former state legislator Dale Kooyenga is new MMAC senior veep


– Wellpoint Care Network names COO


– American Roller acquires Illinois firm, second deal in past two months


– Associated Bank to redesign Whitefish Bay branch, add Colectivo café


– Burlington looks to a future with nearly 350 new homes, apartments


– Poblocki Paving moving headquarters to New Berlin


– Family-owned Manitowoc company incorporates sustainability into new facility


– Bean-to-bar Black Sheep Chocolate makes candy with a conscience



– DNR providing grants to rural counties for recycling electronics



– Gov. Evers declares Energy Emergency



<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>

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