This house at 131 S. James St. is listed for $160,000. Home
sales in the metropolitan area jumped dramatically in March.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
WAUKESHA - Waukesha County led a four-county area
in home sales with a 29.4 percent increase in March, according
to data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
422 homes were sold in the county last month,
compared to 326 homes sold in March last year. The four-county area
- comprising Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties -
saw a 25.6 percent increase in home sales overall. A total of 1,522
homes were sold during March, compared to 1,212 homes sold during
the same time last year.
Milwaukee County saw a 25 percent increase from 691
to 864 home sales. Washington County increased sales from 115 to 134
homes sold and Ozaukee County had sales increase from 80 to 102.
“The 2015 market is solid, thus far,” said Mike
Ruzicka, president of the GMAR. He noted that the performance in
March is partly explained by the balance of low inventory levels and
a healthy, “traditional” market.
The four-county area saw a 9.2 percent rise as the
first quarter closed, with 3,272 homes sold compared to 2,996 homes
sold in 2014. Waukesha County saw the highest increase - 16.3
percent - from 763 to 887 homes sold.
There is a better inventory this year, Ruzicka said,
up 10.2 percent in March.
“A little more volume in listings is helping to
satisfy strong buyer demand for homes,” he said, “although demand is
still outstripping supply.”
March was the second month in 2015 with an inventory
increase, although Ruzicka said brokers are reporting that inventory
is still tight, particularly among quality, move-in-ready
The seasonally adjusted inventory level for March is
7.1 months, a leap from both February’s 6.4 month level and the 6.7
level from March 2014. Waukesha County also saw a 5-percent increase
in the average sale price of properties.
Despite the positive trends this year, Ruzicka said
the market does have its challenges - particularly, tight credit
standards and low inventory.
“Nonetheless, there were more positives than
negatives in the first quarter,” he said, “and the rest of 2015 is
shaping up to be very good for real estate.”
Projecting for coming quarters, Ruzicka said judging
by the current strength of demand and higher supply, sales could
rise about 6.7 percent ahead of last year.