Waukesha County home sales improve for second month

By John Holman - Special to The Freeman

Nov. 13, 2014

A house for sale at 2419 Patrick Lane in Waukesha is listed for $294,900.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

OCONOMOWOC - Home sales in Waukesha County increased by 12.7 percent this October, up to 461 from 409 in October 2013, according to a report the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors released Wednesday.

The two-month streak began last month, when home sales improved 7.6 percent from September 2013.

Waukesha County carried the four-county Metropolitan Milwaukee market to a 3.7 percent improvement overall, the region's second consecutive improvement, assisted by a 2.4 percent increase in neighboring Milwaukee County. Contrarily, the Metro Milwaukee year-to-date numbers are lagging 2013 by 3.8 percent.

The GMAR press release stated that real estate agents are optimistic about the market that has unloaded many of its distressed properties, calling it more 'traditional,' meaning more first-time buyers, buyers with children looking for larger homes and empty-nesters buying new homes or condos.

Listings also increased from last October - 0.2 percent in Waukesha County and 1.6 percent in the region.

The market is challenged in that first-time buyers are at 33 percent, 7 points behind the historic rate of 40 percent, largely due to mortgage qualification, the slow job market and student debt, according to a National Association of Realtors report.

Despite sales numbers being down in eight of ten months this year, the GMAR remains bullish on the market, citing interested, quality buyers and properties receiving multiple offers.

The GMAR projects final 2014 home sales to decline 4.5 percent in the Metro Milwaukee market.