Metro Milwaukee home sales take minor climb in October

Freeman Staff

Nov. 10, 2015

MILWAUKEE — Homes sales in the metropolitan Milwaukee area continued their upward trend in October with an increase of 4.6 percent when compared to the same month one year ago. There were a total of 1,555 homes sold in October in the four-county region, compared to 1,487 in October 2014, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

If the total number of homes sold last month is compared to October 2013’s total, sales increased 8.4 percent.

According to the GMAR, October was the ninth consecutive month of positive sales this year, and three of the four metropolitan counties had positive sales with Ozaukee County only three units off from being on the plus side. 

Washington County had the highest growth of home sales last month at 13.1 percent with a total of 155 homes sold compared to 137 in October 2014. Waukesha County followed at 5 percent and Milwaukee County had a 3.7 percent increase. Ozaukee County was down 3.5 percent with a total of 83 homes sold in October compared to 86 in October 2014.

“The market is running smoothly, but not overheating.  Buyers are active this fall, many homes in ‘move in’ condition are receiving multiple offers, inventory is very tight, and there is some upward price pressure,” said GMAR President Mike Ruzicka in the release. “These conditions usually encourage buyers to test the waters, and, as prices creep upward, sellers to consider putting their house on the market.”

Ruzicka said autumn tends to be a little slower for home sales, but the season was not as slow in 2015 as the area typically experiences.

“Buyers need to be prepared to make a decision on placing an offer on a home quickly, due to a limited number of houses available in their market segment.  This makes the research phase of home buying all the more important,” he said.

Listings continue to dwindle in most of the four-county metro area, according to GMAR. The only county to see an increase in listings was Waukesha County at 1.1 percent. Washington County declined by 17.4 percent, Ozaukee County was down by 8.7 percent and Milwaukee County dipped 1.1 percent.

Ruzicka said the real estate industry saw the introduction of the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure process in October. It is a revised disclosure process from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  He said it appears the transition has gone well with the new process and the new disclosures being integrated into the market.