Metro home sales slide 6 percent in September
Waukesha County only area to buck the trend

Freeman Staff

Oct. 13, 2018


Katherine Michalets/Freeman Staff

A ranch home in the 900 block of School Drive is for sale at a new price of $269,000 Friday.

WAUKESHA - September was a disappointing month for home sales in the four-county metro Milwaukee region with all areas other than Waukesha County seeing a decline in sales.

Overall home sales dipped 6 percent in September 2018 compared to the same month of 2017, with Washington County down 20.2 percent, followed by Milwaukee County at 9.2 percent and Ozaukee County sliding by 5.3 percent. Waukesha County was the only area with an increase in home sales at 7.2 percent in September.

The third quarter of 2018 was also down a small amount compared to 2017.

A total of 16,425 homes have been sold through the third quarter of this year, which is 0.2 percent less than the total this time in 2017.

“The metropolitan area has enjoyed a strong sales market since the beginning of 2015. The influx of first-time buyers - accounting for roughly 40 percent of the market - historically low interest rates, and a strong regional job market, all provide fuel for a hot market,” wrote Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. “While the building blocks of the local economy and housing market are solid, there are some anecdotal reports of a ‘cooling off’ in the market.  Homes in good school districts, in ‘move-in’ condition, and priced under $300,000, are getting offers, but not as fervently as earlier in the year.”

The number of communities described as being a “hot market” have also declined in the third quarter, Ruzicka reported.

“In 2017, there were 21 hot markets through the third quarter, this year there were only 13. Most of the decline was due to a decrease in unit sales, possibly because of a lack of supply in the sub-$300,000 market,” Ruzicka wrote.

Milwaukee County was the outlier for third quarter sales and had an increase of 1.6 percent.

Ozaukee County had the greatest decease during that period at 5.6 percent, followed by Washington County at 4.8 percent and Waukesha County at 1.4 percent.