MADISON - After a
long winter hurt the sales of existing homes, sales in the month
of May continued to lag behind last year’s average. But median
prices of those same homes rose again from April in Wisconsin.
Realtors Association released a report Monday showing May’s home
sales averages were behind May 2013’s by 6.9 percent, while the
average price of homes rose 3.8 percent from last year.
This marks the
fifth straight month of reduced home sales compared to sales in
the housing market last year.
Michael Theo, WRA president and CEO, the slowdown might be tied
to lending reforms resulting from the Dodd-Frank financial
regulators had proposed requiring a 20 percent down payment if a
loan is to be sold in the secondary market. While this provision
was not implemented, other tighter lending restrictions did take
effect in January.
combination of a slight increase in mortgage rates, rising home
prices and these tighter lending regulations may have kept some
potential buyers out of the market so far this year,” Theo said.
Home sales for
May were down to 6,970, while last years sales reached almost
stronger in May than in April, with only 5,304 sales during the
believes sales were down through April this year due in part to
the harsh winter. But the organization is not sure why sales in
May are still behind.
last year was a strong year for sales, we expected a slight
bounce in May sales as the prolonged winter ended,” said Steve
Lane, chairman of the WRA board of directors. “But we haven’t
seen that bounce yet.”
Home sales in
May were down in every region in the state. This barely includes
the Northeast region, including Fond du Lac and Manitowoc
counties, with only one more house sale in the region during
last year’s May than this year’s.
The West and
North regions fared better than the rest of the state, with
drops in sales at 2.2 percent and 3.8 percent respectively.
region, including Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, fell 9.9
percent for home sales in May compared to 2013. The South
Central region fell 9.3 percent, while the Central region of the
state fell the farthest with a drop of 12.5 percent from last
region’s median price up 4.6 percent
median price of homes rose to $150,000 for May 2014, about a 3.8
percent raise from May 2013 home prices.
region of the state, which had the biggest drop in sales, also
was the only region that also declined in home prices from May
2013. The region, including Adams and Clark counties, was down
Sales for the
North region was raised to 20.6 percent in May 2014 compared to
are often volatile in these two regions due to the shifting mix
of primary versus vacation homes that sell in any given month,”
home price for the Waukesha and Milwaukee Southeast region is up
Central median price of homes had less than a one percent raise.
The price average of that region went from $173,000 to $174,000
for the month of May.
price of home sales is up more than $10,000 from just April this
Housing Affordability Index measures the percent of the median
priced home that the median family income can afford. The
affordability index fell by 11 percent this May compared to last
May, but the WRA still emphasizes buying a home is beneficial.
home prices up in 27 of the last 28 months, buying a home
continues to be a good way to accumulate wealth and it’s a
physical asset that should keep pace with inflation over the
long term,” Theo said.