Real estate market heats up
Sales in Ozaukee County outpace metro area average

By Gary Achterberg - News Graphic Staff

May 26, 2015

OZAUKEE COUNTY — April real estate sales in Ozaukee County outpaced the rest of the metro Milwaukee area by a substantial margin.

There were 110 closings in Ozaukee County this April, compared to 84 in April 2014. That’s a 31 percent increase – and well over double the 13.4 percent average increase across the four-county market, the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors said in its monthly report.

Waukesha County saw the next largest increase; there were 477 closings there last month, compared to 388 in 2014, which is a 22.9 percent increase. Washington County recorded a 15.8 percent increase, going from 131 closings last year to 161 this April. In Milwaukee County, there were 809 closings in April 2014 and 862 last month, a 6.6 percent rise.

“April was the second month of solid sales this year,” the GMAR’s report said. “Buyers are very active and quality homes, in excellent condition, are sometimes receiving multiple offers.

“Similar to March’s eye-popping 25.6 percent increase in sales, April’s large increase over the previous year is partly due to market dynamics in the spring of 2014,” the report said. “At that time, distressed sales had left the market and were replaced by a healthy ‘traditional’ – first-time/move-up/ empty-nest – market.

“The transition from 2013’s high-volume value market to 2014’s ‘normal’ one meant fewer sales initially,” it added. “The normal market picking up speed is what we’re experiencing today.”

April was the third month of the year and the tenth of the last 12 months that saw listings increase across the four-county area. While more listings are needed to satisfy demand, brokers are reporting that inventory is tight, particularly among move-in-ready properties because the number of buyers looking is high.

In Ozaukee County, there were 198 listings in April 2015, compared to 192 in April 2014, a 3.1 percent increase. Inventory was flat across the four-county area. There were 3,085 listings this April, compared to 3,052 a year ago.

Gary Achterberg can be reached at .