January home sales dip by 3.1 percent in metro Milwaukee market

Freeman Staff

Feb. 12, 2015

MILWAUKEE - Home sales dipped by 3.1 percent in the Metropolitan Milwaukee market during January when compared with the same month in 2014.

According to the monthly report from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, 820 homes sold in January - down from the 846 that sold in the same month in 2014. Despite the dip, last monthís total still appeared to be within the norm of past years.

Over the last decade, the market has exceeded 820 unit sales in January on only four occasions. In 2007 a high of 971 homes sold, but totals have dipped as low as 558 in 2010 and 545 in 2009.

Milwaukee County led the way with over half the sales in the four-county marketplace, but was 4.4 percent behind January of 2014. Brokers identified two factors for the slower market: cold weather and low inventory. Brokers reported that traffic did pick up the last weekend of the month, after the Packers were eliminated from the NFL playoffs.

Inventory was down across the metro Milwaukee market in January, but each county tells a different story. While Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties were down - 5.5 percent and 2.8 percent respectively - Waukesha County was actually up by 3.3 percent, or 19 total units. Washington County also jumped up by 13.8 percent, or 22 total units.

According to the GMAR, this increased activity in Waukesha and Washington counties could indicate a strong spring market in the $200,000-and-above price range. This is due to sellers who often put their homes up for sale before the spring market.

The seasonally adjusted inventory level for January was 6.1 months - down a bit from Decemberís 6.3 month level - but it was actually an increase over last year, when  the seasonally adjusted level was 6.0 months. The rate stood at 7.1 months in January 2013.