Housing market loosens slightly in state

Associated Press

Nov. 22, 2017

MADISON — New data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association shows that the state’s tight housing market is showing signs of loosening.

The data shows that the state had nearly 7,300 sales of existing homes last month, an almost 5 percent increase from October 2016, according to a media report.

An increase in housing supply will help address the growing problem of housing affordability in the state, said David Clark, an economist at Marquette University.

‘’That will probably knock down some of those rather hefty price increases that we’ve been seeing over the last couple of years,’’ Clark said. ‘’We’ve seen prices going up at two to three times the rate of inflation.’’

The median home price in the state rose to $175,000 last month, a more than 6 percent increase from October 2016.

But one month of improvement won’t guarantee that the market will continue to improve, he said.

Despite the improvements to the housing supply, the Wisconsin housing market will likely favor sellers for some time, particularly in urban areas, Clark said.

‘’If you look at overall inventory levels, they’re at about 5.1 months,’’ he said. ‘’But when you look at metropolitan counties, they’re at 3.9 months. Even if new listings continue to improve, it’ll take a while for this market to adjust to the point that it’s a buyer’s market as opposed to a seller’s market.’’