Region’s July home sales slightly behind last year’s mark

By Dwayne Butler - Freeman Staff

August 12, 2014

 This home in the 2100 block of Irving Place is listed for $169,000.   
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - Single-family home sales for July were behind just 0.8 percent from a year ago, according to data released Monday by the Metropolitan Listing Service, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

The region, which features Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, sold 1,962 homes in July compared with 1,978 homes in July 2013. The July 2014 total was 17.8 percent ahead of the 1,666 mark in July 2012.

“Brokers have said that a sizable percentage of past years’ sales were distressed properties, but in 2014 they are seeing more ‘regular’ and ‘solid’ sales, generally characterized as young, first-time buyers, move-up buyers with children looking for a larger home and empty-nesters moving into a new home or condo,” a GMAR news release said.

Waukesha County home sales were behind 5.8 percent from a year ago, after it sold 602 homes in July compared with 639 in July 2013, the GMAR said.

Listings increased in July by 2.4 percent in the four-county region, making it the sixth consecutive month of positive figures. Waukesha County was ahead 3.1 percent from the same month a year ago.

The 2,703 new listings in July pushed total listings in the market to 12,030.

The seasonally adjusted inventory level for July was 8.4 months, slightly behind June’s 8.5-month level. The seasonally adjusted level was 8 months in July 2013. If the 1,746 listings with an active offer are subtracted from current listings, the inventory is effectively 6 months, a slight improvement over June’s 5.8 month level.  A year ago, the same calculation showed July’s inventory level at 5.7 months.

“Despite sales numbers down from 2013, brokers and agents are very enthusiastic about the metropolitan real estate market,” the GMAR said. “The quality of buyers is a major reason for their level of confidence. Additionally, inventory has been rising by single digits for most of the year, buyer interest remains high and sellers can expect realistic prices (with some move-in ready properties seeing multiple offers), all combine for a solid market.”