MILWAUKEE - Home sales improved again in December
with an increase of 10.6 percent for the metropolitan Milwaukee area
compared to the same period in 2014. December was the eleventh
consecutive month with a growth in sales and the best December in
eleven years, according to data released Tuesday by the Greater
Milwaukee Association of Realtors.
In total, 1,385 homes were sold in December 2015
compared to 1,252 in December 2014. Comparing the numbers for last
month to 2013, sales were stronger by 18 percent (1,174 in 2013).
December 2015 was the strongest December the metro
Milwaukee area has seen since 2004 when 1,433 units were sold.
Milwaukee County saw the most significant increase at
14.5 percent in December, compared to Washington County with a 13.2
percent increase and Waukesha County with an 8.6 percent increase.
Ozaukee County didn’t fare well with a 13.7 percent decline,
according to the data from GMAR.
In 2015, the real estate market in the metro
Milwaukee area had 19,611 total sales, compared to 17,749 in 2014, a
10.5 percent increase, the GMAR reported Tuesday. Earlier in the
year, 2015 was predicted to finish about 9.8 percent above 2014;
however, the strong sales throughout the year boosted the total year
Washington County had the largest increase for 2015
compared to 2014 with 19.3 percent uptick. Waukesha County went up
12.8 percent followed by Ozaukee County at 10.5 percent and then
Milwaukee County at 7.7 percent, according to the GMAR.
“In 2014, brokers were delighted as the market
changed from a recessionary one, filled with distressed properties,
to a more ‘traditional’ market in, characterized by first-time
buyers, move-up buyers with children looking for a larger home and
empty-nesters moving into a new home or condo,” said Mike Ruzicka,
president of the GMAR. “2015 saw a continuation of that traditional
market, but will also be remembered as a period of very tight
New home listings continued to decline in December,
which was the fifth consecutive month with a reduced number of
listings. According to the GMAR, new listings for 2015 were very low
at 0.5 percent. As a result, inventory remains tight. The seasonally
adjusted inventory level for December was 5 months, a drop from
November’s 5.7 month level. The seasonally adjusted level was 6.3
months in December 2014.
The average sale price in all four metro Milwaukee
counties was up in 2015. Washington County was the leader at 9.7
percent, followed by Milwaukee County at 7.1 percent, then Ozaukee
at 4.2 percent and then Waukesha County at 2.4 percent.