A home for sale on the
corner of Greenfield Avenue and Broadway in Waukesha.
In recent history, home sales
have been strong every month, but this July they took a downturn in
the metro Milwaukee area. According to a report released Friday by
the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, home sales for the
four-county metro Milwaukee area consisting of Waukesha, Washington,
Ozaukee and Milwaukee counties declined 5.2 percent in July compared
to July 2016.
Washington County took the biggest tumble at 14.8 percent, followed
by Ozaukee County at 6.3 percent. Waukesha County dropped 1.6
percent and Milwaukee County went down 5.2 percent.
Mike Ruzicka, president of GMAR, said the decline was not due to a
slowing down of the market, but because there weren’t enough homes
for sale to meet the demand of would-be buyers.
“There is no concern about the decrease among Realtors. The
underpinnings of the local economy are solid, with employment,
interest rates, and lending all performing well. The strong economy
is producing interest in home buying, particularly among first-time
buyers, who brokers estimate comprise about 40 percent of the market
this summer,” reads the report.
Through July, the four-county market is 0.8 percent ahead of sales
in 2016, 12,083 in 2017 versus 11,983 unit sales in 2016, according
to the GMAR.
July was the fifth month of 2017 that had a decrease in property
listings for the four-county area.
Milwaukee and Washington counties increased listings, but there were
not enough units available in Waukesha or Ozaukee counties to
satisfy buyer demand; particularly homes under $350,000, according
to the GMAR.
In Washington County, home listings increased 7.6 percent and in
Milwaukee County they went up 2 percent, whereas in Waukesha County
they declined 5.3 percent and 11.4 percent in Ozaukee County.
“Based on a GMAR consumer survey conducted in May, sellers stated
they were holding off on listing because of concerns about policy
changes in Washington, D.C. (i.e. mortgage interest deduction,
taxes, health care), recent remodeling to their current home, and
some are holding out for higher prices,” according to the report.