July housing market remains hot in Wisconsin

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Aug. 18, 2015

MADISON - Along with the warmer temperatures of July, home sales were hot last month with both existing home sales and median prices higher than the levels in July of 2014, according to a report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association on Monday.

Existing home sales increased 16.9 percent in July 2015 relative to July 2014, and median prices rose 3.8 percent to $163,999 during that same time frame.

“Summer is obviously our peak sales period, and it’s encouraging to see a continuation of the strong sales that began in the spring,” said Dan Kruse, WRA board chairman, in a statement. “This is the strongest spring and early summer sales volume we’ve seen since before the recession.”

WRA reports that home sales increased by double-digit margins in all months in 2015 compared to 2014 except for March. The results for 2015 have made it the best start to a year since 2005, according to the report.

The period between March and August accounts for about 59 percent of annual sales in a typical year.

Every region of the state was up in July, with the strongest growth seen in the northeast region where sales grew 30.3 percent compared to July 2014, as well as the south central region where sales were up 21.8 percent over that same period.

Other strong regions were the west, up 14.6 percent; the north, up 2.5 percent; and the southeast, up 11.9 percent. Modest growth was also recorded in the Central region, which was up 5.8 percent.

In Wisconsin, available home inventory was down 14 percent to 8.7 months in July; however, counties in metropolitan areas had only 6.5 months of available supply last month, which will continue to put pressure on home prices, according to the WRA.

“There are still great opportunities out there, but buyers need to be prepared to move quickly when the opportunity presents itself,” WRA President and CEO Michael Theo. “Working with an experienced realtor who knows the local neighborhood remains the best way to identify the best values in a tight housing market.”