Milwaukee metro home sales up 13.1% for September
GMAR reports best first nine months since 2005

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Oct. 16, 2015

 The 1878 Putney house at 123 McCall Street is among the houses for sale in the area.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

MILWAUKEE - Home sales increased 13.1 percent in the metro Milwaukee area during September and rose 12.5 percent through the end of the third quarter of the year, according to data released Wednesday by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

In September, a total of 1,738 homes were sold compared to 1,537 during the month of September in 2014. When compared to the number of homes sold in September 2013, sales increased 17.1 percent, according to the GMAR.

The top performing county in the four-county metro area for September was Waukesha County, which saw an increase of 18.4 percent compared to the same period the year prior. In September of this year, 553 homes were sold compared to 467 in 2014. Milwaukee County came in second with a 12.1 percent increase in sales in September. A total of 905 homes were sold in September 2015 compared to 807 for the same month last year. Washington County had an increase of 6.5 percent and Ozaukee County’s sales rose 6.4 percent, according to Wednesday’s data.

The GMAR reported that the last time the metro Milwaukee area had more than 1,700 homes sold in September was in 2005.

 The number of homes sold in the Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties was up in September and the first nine months of the year compared to 2014. Washington County led the way for the three quarters and Waukesha was tops in September.
Source: Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors

Washington County had the best first nine of 2015 with a 20.4 percent increase in sales when compared to the same period in 2014. Next best was Ozaukee County with a 16.9 percent increase followed by Waukesha County at 15.6 percent when comparing the homes sold during the first nine months of 2015 to the same period in 2014. In last place was Milwaukee County, which had a 7.9 percent increase during the first three quarters of 2015.

The GMAR reported that the last time the market had more than 15,000 sales during the first nine months was in 2006 when there were 15,803 sales. The four-county region recorded 15,348 homes sold so far this year.

“The 2015 market can be characterized as very solid, with buyers quickly absorbing available listings since the beginning of the year. The GMAR expects this trend to continue through the rest of the year. Based on recent data it appears that total sales for 2015 will be approximately 18,827 units, about 9.8 percent ahead of 2014,” according to the report.

The number of new listings continues to be a hurdle for the market. The GMAR reported that new listings dropped during the past two months: 1.3 percent in August and 3.4 percent in September. During the first nine months of 2015, five months had listing increases.

“Regardless, the extra volume they provided did not alleviate strong buyer demand, which still outstripped supply,” according to the report.

With the improved sales numbers home prices have also increased. The average sale price, according to the GMAR, increased in all four counties during the third quarter. Ozaukee County had the highest average sale price increase of $22,722, an 8 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2014, for a total of $296,003.

The average sale price in Waukesha County through the third quarter was $288,866, an increase of 3 percent. Milwaukee County’s average sale price was $160,645, an increase of 7 percent compared to 2014. Washington County also had an 8 percent increase in its average home sale price during period for an average of $221,841.