Median home price up 12.3% in Waukesha County; home sales increase 14.5%
State saw increases in prices, sales in February

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

March 24, 2015

MADISON - While home sales continued to improve during February, it was the median prices of existing homes that saw the greatest increase last month, according to data released Monday.

An analysis of the statewide housing market by the Wisconsin Realtors Association indicated home sales in February 2015 grew 1.8 percent compared to February 2014, and median prices increased 6.1 percent to $137,900 compared to that same period.

The median home price in Waukesha County in February was $239,000, an increase of 12.3 percent compared to the median home price of $212,750 in February 2014. In addition, 245 homes sold in February, compared to 214 in February 2014, a 14.5 percent increase, according to the WRA data.

Milwaukee County saw an increase of 18.5 percent for median home prices in February, but a decline of 10.1 percent in home sales, both when compared to February 2014. The median home price last month in Milwaukee County was $112,000 -18.5 percent more than the median price of $94,500 in February 2014; however, only 490 homes sold last month in Milwaukee County compared to 545 for the same period the year before.

The statewide median price rose to $137,900 in February, which is a 6.1 percent increase compared to February 2014. Last month was the second straight month of median price appreciation in excess of 6 percent, according to the WRA.

When home sales from December 2014 through February 2015 are compared with the same period in the previous year, winter home sales are up about 1.2 percent.

“While the state is moving in the right direction, it’s important to remember that sales last year were hampered by very cold temperatures, and so this is really only a slight improvement,” Dan Kruse, WRA board chairman, in a statement. “We’re hoping to see a bounce in sales moving into the spring and summer - the two seasons where we sell the most homes.”

According to the WRA, typically the three winter months account for about 16.9 percent of annual home sales compared to 27.1 percent of annual sales that happen from March until May, and 32 percent that occur between June and August.

“In fact, home prices have consistently risen over the last three years,” said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo in a statement, adding median prices have been rising on an annual basis for 35 of the last 36 months. Since February 2012, prices have risen 20 percent. This three-year price appreciation is due in part to shrinking inventories.