September single-family home sales in Wisconsin had flat
numbers when compared with the same month in 2013,
according to a state housing market report released
Monday by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
home sales were behind by 0.2 percent and 3.4 percent
through the first nine months of 2014 when compared with
the same period in 2013.
total of 6,145 homes were sold in Wisconsin in September
2014 compared with 6,130 in September 2013. Through the
first three quarters of this year, 52,582 homes have
been sold compared with 54,457 in the first nine months
Milwaukee region, which includes Milwaukee, Waukesha,
Washington and Ozaukee counties, was one of the few in
the state with positive numbers. The region had a slight
increase of 1 percent in September home sales, but is
behind 4.7 year-to-date.
numbers aside, WRA Chairman Dan Kruse believes the
state real estate market is in good shape. He pointed
out that while sales in the 2014 third quarter were 2.1
percent behind the third quarter last year, the WRA data
shows a 20.7 improvement after the Great Recession ended
in the third quarter of 2009.
“Although our home sales are slightly lower than last
year, it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come
since emerging from the Great Recession,” Kruse said.
“To be only slightly lower than last year’s solid market
suggests a relatively healthy market for housing in the
Prices on the rise
Meanwhile, the state housing prices continue to
increase, finishing September 2014 3.1 percent higher
than September 2013, and 2.4 percent more through the
first three quarters of this year.
average median sales prices for September 2014 was
$148,700. The average median price in the four-county
Milwaukee region was $171,000, a 5.6 percent increase
over September 2013. The state median price of $148,500
for the first nine months of the year is more than
$3,000 ahead of last year’s. The Milwaukee region’s
average price of $170,000 for the same period is 3
“Although we appear to be in a bit of a holding pattern
in terms of existing home sales in the state, much like
the rest of the U.S., median home prices have grown at a
healthy sustainable pace this year,” WRA President & CEO
Michael Theo said.
Seasonally adjusted housing inventories have ranged from
about 49,000 homes to nearly 53,000 since December 2012,
which the WRA said is a far cry from the nearly 72,000
homes on the market in March 2010.
September 2014, Kruse said, there were 7.5 months of
available inventory collectively in the 24 metropolitan
counties compared with more than twice that level of
15.9 months in the state’s 48 rural counties.
overall inventories have come down, there continues to
be tighter inventories in urban parts of the state
compared to rural areas,” Kruse said.
Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index, which gives the
percent of the median-priced home that a household with
the median family income and a 20 percent down payment
can afford to buy at current mortgage rates, ranged
between 206 and 249 over the last 12 months, suggesting
that the typical family can afford to buy between 2 and
2.5 times the median-priced home, the WRA reported.
September 2014 index level stood at 222, which is
slightly higher than the September 2013 level of 219.
modest improvement in the estimated median family income
and a slight reduction in mortgage rates helped to keep
affordability on par with last year, even as home prices
rose,” Theo said.
Falling unemployment, according to the U.S. Bureau of
Labor Statistics, is helping the real estate market as
seeing real job growth and hopefully this will translate
into income growth for Wisconsin workers, both of which
are needed to get home sales growing,” Theo said.