WAUKESHA - Existing home sales in Wisconsin
were behind in November compared with the same month last
year, but home prices increased over the same period,
according to an analysis of the state's housing market by
the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
Existing home sales in November were behind 6
percent, whereas median prices rose 6.6 percent to $145,000
between November 2013 and November 2014.
last couple of months have been a bit of a rollercoaster in
terms of sales. October sales were up over last year but
sales in November were down," said Dan Kruse, the chairman
of the WRA board of directors.
The WRA reported that October sales rose 658
units compared with October 2013, while November home sales
were behind 288 units relative to November 2013, All state
regions had increased sales in October, and then moved in
the opposite direction in November, with every region having
decreased sales compared with the same month last year, the
these numbers into perspective, our housing market remains
strong in Wisconsin. We had the strongest September to
November sales period since 2006, before the Great Recession
began," said Kruse, noting that in a typical year, November
accounts for only about 7 percent of total annual sales.
In November 2014, most regions were behind
between 3 and 6 percent from the same month a year ago, with
the smallest decline seen in the South Central region (down
2.9 percent). A slightly higher reduction was home sales in
the Southeast region, at 3.8 percent. That region includes
Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties.
The Northeast region was behind 12.3 percent
versus the same month a year ago.
The median price of a Wisconsin home was 6.6
percent higher compared with November last year, which was
the largest increase since February of this year, when the
median price rose 7.4 percent.
Waukesha County prices were 11.5 percent
higher than in November 2013, and Milwaukee County was 23.1
most of the year, housing prices have grown at just over the
rate of inflation, so hopefully this spike is just an
aberration," WRA President and CEO Michael Theo said.
The WRA pointed out that for most months this
year, the median price increases ranged between 1.3 percent
and 4.2 percent compared with the same month in 2013. By
comparison, the annual inflation rates were between 1.1
percent and 2.1 percent for each of the first 11 months of
2014, it said.
is an asset that has gained value in Wisconsin for 32 of the
last 33 months, yet it remains affordable for those with
solid credit who qualify for a mortgage," Theo said.
Affordability stays strong
The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index
remains high at 230, the WRA said, indicating a household
with median family income can afford to purchase 230 percent
of the median-priced home assuming they had a 20 percent
down payment and they took out a 30-year fixed rate mortgage
at current rates.
The index is very similar to the level of
last year, due to modest estimated gains in median family
income, and a slight reduction in mortgage rates, the WRA
The state currently has 8.4 months of unsold
inventory, given the current annual pace of sales. On a
seasonal basis, inventories tend to be highest in the summer
months and then shrink through the fall and winter,
bottoming out in January. The inventory reduction, however,
should not put undue upward pressure on home prices,
according to the WRA.