Home sales flat in area, up in Waukesha County

By Arthur Thomas - Freeman Staff

March 13, 2015

WAUKESHA - While home sales in metro Milwaukee were essentially flat in February, Waukesha County saw a nearly 17 percent increase over the same time last year, according to data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

A total of 865 homes were sold during February in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties. In February 2014, a total of 863 homes were sold. The winter months are traditionally slow for real estate. In the last 10 years, the four county area has topped 865 homes sold in February just three times and only once since 2008.

Waukesha County had the largest increase in home sales, going from 210 in 2014 to 245 this year. Milwaukee County sales dipped 4 percent from 519 to 498. Washington County was down from 86 to 73 and Ozaukee County was basically flat with 48 last year and 49 this year.

“The fact that the market as a whole was up in February, dramatically in Waukesha County, points to strong footing for the market,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR, noting the sales are the result of negotiations around the holidays. ”Buyers had confidence to purchase in the market during the slowest, coldest months of the year, which portends well as we move into the spring market.”

Ruzicka said the inventory of available homes remained tight in February at about 4.4 months, up slightly from January’s 4.3 months. While new listings were down 1.4 percent in January, they came back strong in February, increasing by 8.7 percent.

Despite the increase, Ruzicka said the market needs more homes for sale to meet current demand.

“The increased listings we saw in February will certainly help as those listings become sales in March and April,” he said. ”However, available homes are still below the point brokers would like to see them in order to satisfy buyer demand.”

www.gmar.com

Email: athomas@conleynet.com