Persistent snow and bitterly cold temperatures in February
dropped the Milwaukee area real estate market into a deep
Home sales for the four-county region were down
10.1 percent from the same month a year ago, according to
statistics released Monday by the Metropolitan Listing Service,
a wholly owned subsidiary of the Greater Milwaukee Association
of Realtors. The region, which includes Milwaukee, Waukesha,
Ozaukee and Washington counties, sold 863 homes in February
compared with 960 in February 2013.
dynamic held things up - the weather,” said Scott Bush, vice
president of operations with the GMAR. “That pretty much
attributed to a lot of the slowdown.”
County sold 210 homes in February compared with 227 homes in
February 2013, a 7.5 percent decline. Milwaukee County sold 519
homes in February 2014, a decline of 9.6 percent; Washington
County sold 86 homes, a decline of 9.5 percent; and Ozaukee
County sold 48 homes and had the biggest drop of the four
counties, at 25 percent.
“A decrease in
sales is not unusual in the winter months, and given the
numerous polar vortexes that have descended upon the market,
buyers have decided to search online before going out," GMAR
President Mike Ruzicka said in a statement.
On a brighter
note, sales in the four-county region remained ahead of the
February 2012 pace by 4.6 percent, and its level was on par with
what the market experienced before the Great Recession began.
Milwaukee (5.3 percent), Ozaukee (14.3 percent) and Washington
counties (26.5 percent) showed positive numbers in February 2014
compared with the same month two years ago, while Waukesha
County was down 5.4 percent.
(February) numbers are a little deceiving, because while it
shows we were down (from February 2013), we’re certainly better
than two years ago,” Bush said.
spot was that listings placed on the market in February
increased by 1.7 percent, coming off a 1.5 percent decrease in
January inventory levels.
inventory level was at 6.13 months, slightly above January’s
6.0-month level. However, the GMAR pointed out that if the 1,329
listings with an active offer are subtracted from current
listings of 7,788, the inventory level drops to a very tight 4.4
months. That’s slightly ahead of 4.3 months the area market saw
County listed 496 homes in February, a 9.5 percent drop from
February 2013, and Washington County was down 10.1 percent.
Ozaukee County (9.6 percent) and Milwaukee County (8.5 percent)
were on the plus side.
As the market
moves into spring, the GMAR expects favorable interest rates,
home prices, available listings and active buyers to fuel a
increases in inventory with improved weather. I’m looking
forward to a good spring,” Bush said.