Home prices rise 8.8% in March, new listings increase 15.1%
Waukesha County home sales go up 25 percent

By Katherine Michalets - Freeman Staff

April 22, 2015

 Median home prices in Wisconsin and metro Milwaukee
Median home prices, up 8.8 percent statewide in March, were also up in Milwaukee, Washington, Ozaukee and Waukesha counties compared to March 2014. Source: Wisconsin Realtors Association 

Source: Wisconsin Realtors Association

MADISON - The Wisconsin housing market continued on its upward trajectory in March with home sales increasing 16.1 percent and median home prices rising 8.8 percent compared to March 2014, according to data released Monday by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

For the first quarter of 2015, existing home sales were 6.7 percent ahead of the first three months of 2014, with median prices in the first quarter up 7.6 percent compared to the first quarter last year.

“The economic fundamentals of the housing market have been good for the last several months, and we were expecting solid growth this spring, but double-digit sales growth is impressive,” said Dan Kruse, WRA board chairman, in a statement.

The WRA credits the drop in the statewide unemployment rate to 4.6 percent in March and 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage remaining at 3.77 percent as reasons for the positive movement in the market.

In addition, median prices increased to $149,000 in March, which is 8.8 percent higher than that same month last year.

“We’ve seen consistent upward movement in home prices this year, and March was the strongest so far,” said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo in a statement. By comparison, existing home prices rose just 3.1 percent during 2014 compared to 2013.

In Waukesha County, the median housing price increased more moderately compared to the rest of the state at 2.2 percent for a median price of $233,000. In Milwaukee County, the median price increased 12 percent to $121,500; in Ozaukee County it rose 0.9 percent to $228,000; and in Washington County it went up 25.3 percent to $207,950.

Sales for the four-county metro-Milwaukee area were also strong. Home sales in Waukesha County increased 24.9 percent compared to March 2014 with a total of 421 homes sold last month, according to the WRA. Ozaukee County saw the next largest increase in the metro area with an increase of 21.7 percent change compared to the same period a year before for a total of 101 homes sold in March. In Milwaukee County, home sales went up 18.1 percent and 853 homes were sold, while in Washington County the increase was 13.6 percent for a total of 134 homes sold in March.

Statewide foreclosures were also down 13.5 percent in the first quarter to compared to the same period in 2014 - and 33.7 percent from the first quarter of 2013, according to the WRA.

With inventory remaining low for months, there was a significant increase in new listings in March, Theo said. He reported that new listings were up 15.1 percent last month compared to March 2014.


<<EARLIER: ‘Inventory is ridiculously tight’

<<EARLIER: Waukesha County second highest in new home construction

Email: kmichalets@conleynet.com