2016 home sales end 7.1% higher
Best year of sales since 2005

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

Jan. 14, 2017

WAUKESHA - Last year was the best year for home sales in 11 years in metro Milwaukee, according to data released Friday by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, which indicated sales in 2016 increased by 7.1 percent.

In 2015, the four-county metro Milwaukee area of Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee and Milwaukee counties had 19,611 homes sold. In 2016, that figure increased to 21,007, for a rise of 7.1 percent compared to 2015. Last year had 18.4 percent more homes sold than in 2014, when there were 17,749 unit sales, according to the GMAR.

December wasn’t as strong a month and sales dipped 1 percent compared to December 2015 for the metro area.

Washington County had the greatest decline of sales in December at 8.8 percent, followed by Milwaukee County with a downturn of 5.1 percent and Ozaukee County at minus-2.4 percent. Waukesha County was the only area with an increase in sales in December at 3.3 percent.

When comparing total sales in 2016 to 2015, Milwaukee County saw the most significant increase at 10.3 percent, followed by Ozaukee County at 4.8 percent. Both Waukesha and Washington counties had similar sales growth in 2016: 3.2 percent and 3.3 percent respectively.

“The last time the Milwaukee market was in the range of 21,000-plus sales, was in 2005, when there were 21,642 sales,” Mike Ruzicka, president of the GMAR, wrote with the report. “A 7.1 percent jump in sales is truly remarkable given the declining pool of available homes the market has produced for several months.”

According to the GMAR, December was the ninth month in 2016 with a decrease in listings. The 858 listings in December was the lowest December in the 21st century, and the only one to come in below 1,000 units.

However, the average sale price in all four counties was up in 2016 with Waukesha County leading the way with the largest dollar gain.

In 2016, the average sale price in Waukesha County was $303,503, an increase of 5 percent compared to 2015. Waukesha County peaked at $310,688 in 2007, and is 2.4 percent from that point, according to the GMAR.

Milwaukee County increased 5 percent in 2016 for a average price of $168,319 and Ozaukee County also increased 5 percent last year for an average price of $310,036.

Washington County only rose 1 percent to an average price of $228,661, which is 1 percent below its 2007 peak price of $231,052. The four-county market is 3.4 percent away from its peak average sale price in 2007 of $261,280.

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com