A house for sale on Merton
Avenue in Hartland.
OCONOMOWOC - Milwaukee-area real estate experts are
guardedly optimistic about 2014.
Despite some uncertainty, they are excited about the
prospects of continuing the housing market rebound that
started in 2013.
Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association
of Realtors, said he is expecting 2014 to be a strong
year for the housing market.
recession was like having the flu,” he said. “When it
first started, we felt really bad. In 2012, we felt a
little better, but we’d get off the couch and still feel
woozy. In 2013, it was a good year in a lot of ways.”
Meaning, Ruzicka said, 2014 will continue to look
positive for both buyers and sellers.
Through the first 11 months of 2013, sales were up 10.2
percent from the same period a year ago in the
four-county metro area, which includes Milwaukee,
Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties, to 16,457
from 14,937, according to statistics from Metro MLS Inc.
was also an increase in building permits in 2013. In the
four-county metro Milwaukee area, 1,187 building permits
were issued in the 11-month period, a 30 percent
increase from 913 in the same span in 2012.
Various factors at work
real estate experts, however, are remaining cautious
about the upcoming year.
will bring interesting challenges,” said David Clark, an
economics professor at Marquette University.
Factors such as an increase in housing prices could
affect the market in the upcoming year. An increase,
Clark said, could start to price people out of the
market. A bump in interest rates could also affect local
home sales, he said, and market uncertainties could
cause problems in 2014.
uncertainty involves the government shutdown, Clark
things kind of rattle buyers from buying big-ticket
items,” Clark said. “Even though it was relatively
short-lived, it probably still had a minor impact in
2013’s fourth quarter.”
Clark said, the Affordable Care Act could also cause
issues for potential homebuyers.
don’t think anyone really knows how the Affordable Care
Act will affect the market,” he said. “If the prices for
insurance are a big sticker shock, it could keep some
people from entering the market. Homeowners who have to
pay several hundred more dollars for insurance are now
in a situation where they can’t qualify for a mortgage.”
uncertainty is plaguing the market,” Clark added. “The
next couple of months will be telling.”
the most optimistic real estate agents are waiting on a
few other uncertainties. One factor, Ruzicka said, is
waiting for certain elements of the Dodd-Frank Bill to
be implemented, which will affect the amount homeowners
need to have for a down payment on a home.
recent statistics show the housing market is starting to
said the real estate market started to cool in October,
with sales of existing homes nearly identical to the
same month in 2012. October sales were just 0.1 percent
lower than last October, representing the first time
since July 2011 that monthly sales did not increase over
the previous year.
October report also showed home sales were softening
throughout Wisconsin. The southeast region was nearly
unchanged, with sales rising 0.6 percent.
Ruzicka said he hopes to see an increase in listings on
the market in the upcoming year. Last year saw some
tight inventory, he said, causing buyers to take more
time choosing a home.
Overall, Ruzicka said, 2014 should bring good news for
both buyers and sellers.
pretty even,” he said, “but I’d say it’s slightly in
favor of sellers just because inventory is still tight.
The industry is very optimistic about 2014.”