Ozaukee County home sale decline is biggest in metro area

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

March 25, 2014

OZAUKEE COUNTY - Home sales in Ozaukee County declined by 25 percent in March, compared to the same month a year earlier.

While the number of sales in the county was fewer than in the three surrounding counties in metro area, the decline was by far the biggest of the group.

There were 48 home sales in Ozaukee County this March, compared to 64 the year before.

Here are the sales numbers for the other counties included in the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors’ monthly report:

-Milwaukee County - 519 sales last month, 574 sales in March 2013, decline of 9.6 percent.

-Waukesha County - 210 sales last month, 227 sales in 2013, decline of 7.5 percent.

-Washington County - 86 sales last month, 95 sales in March 2013, decline of 9.5 percent.

The combined numbers for the four-county metro area indicates of 10.1 percent decline in sales over the period.

The GMAR said cold weather was a big reason for the decline in sales.

“For the second straight month, the bitter cold is blamed for the 97-unit deficit,” said the monthly announcement from Mike Ruzicka, president of the GMAR. “Despite a slow market in January and February, area brokers expect the market to equal or beat the 18,203 unit sales of 2013 as the local economy continues to improve and expand.”

The inventory level for February was at 6.13 months, slightly above January’s 6.0-month level. If the 1,329 listings with an active offer are subracted from the current listings of 7.788, the inventory level drops to 4.4 months, which Ruzicka called “very tight.”

“As the market moves into spring, we should see more listings added to the current inventory level in anticipation of a busier market,” he said.

Interest rates, home prices, availability of listings all point toward a robust market, he said.

Gary Achterberg can be reached at gachterberg@conleynet.com.