Median home prices increase almost 11 percent in Wisconsin

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

May 18, 2015

MADISON — An analysis by the Wisconsin Realtors Association released Monday indicated there was more strong momentum in the housing market in April.

According to the report, existing home sales were up 16.8 percent in April when compared to April 2014, and median prices went up 10.7 percent to $154,900 in April 2015 relative to April 2014.
“After a slow start to the year, the spring housing market has really come to life,” said Dan Kruse, WRA board chairman, in a statement.

Home prices were up in Milwaukee, Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties in April when compared to the same time last year. Statewide, median home prices were up 10.7 percent. 
Source: Wisconsin Realtors Association

The WRA analysis indicated April 2015 is the strongest April sales total since 2010, and the second strongest since 2006, before the recession began.

“The growth in sales was strong in every region of the state and was especially robust in the less-urban regions,” Kruse said. The Central region was up 41.2 percent in April 2015 compared to April last year, whereas the West grew 24.4 percent, and the North region increased 22.3 percent compared to that period, according to the report. Sales in the more urban areas of the Northeast region increased 17.1 percent; the South Central region rose 14.6 percent; and the Southeast region grew at 11.7percent.

Inventory remains tight with the rural counties having 13.4 months of supply, but the metropolitan counties are at just 6.7 months of available inventory.

Homes remain affordable in Wisconsin, according to the WRA. The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index shows the percent of the median-priced home that the buyer with a median family income can afford to buy. This assumes a 20 percent down payment on a 30-year mortgage financed at current mortgage rates. The index was at 238 in April, which is nearly unchanged from April last year; but the index is down from 264 in January.

“We’ve been lucky,” said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo in a statement, who noted that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage stood at 3.67 percent in April 2015, which is a little more than a half percent lower than April 2014.