Home sales tumble in metro Milwaukee during June
Lack of houses on the market stagnates it

By Katherine Michalets

July 12, 2018

WAUKESHA — Home sales took a downturn of 8.5 percent during the month of June in the four-county metropolitan Milwaukee area with a lack of homes for sale to blame.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors said sales declined 8.5 percent last month when compared to June 2017. The 2,369 homes sold in June totals 221 fewer than in June 2017, when 2,590 units sold.

Although the real estate market remains strong with eager buyers looking for their new home, the GMAR says a lack of homes for sale is resulting in flat sales for 2018. Also, the GMAR says that new construction, while improved since the recession, remains “lackluster” and there are few foreclosures.

“And, people are not moving out of their existing homes for a variety of reasons, including: Not having another place to move to, not feeling the value of their home has totally recovered, or they have made improvements to their existing home,” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the GMAR, in the report.

Ruzicka said houses that are move-in ready and priced at less than $300,000 are receiving multiple offers and there aren’t any signs that the market will be slowing down.

“The only thing holding back a higher volume of sales is the availability of homes for sale. And there doesn’t appear to be any way to remediate that issue any time soon,” he wrote.

Home sales in June declined in all four metro counties: Ozaukee at 21.4 percent, Washington at 17.1 percent, Milwaukee at 6.7 percent and Waukesha at 5.2 percent.

All of the counties also saw a decline in new home listings in June.

Ozaukee County declined the most at 15.7 percent, followed by Milwaukee at 11 percent, Washington at 8.3 percent and Waukesha at 5.2 percent.

“Since the beginning of 2015, a span of 42 months, 29 months, or 69 percent, had a decrease in homes listed for sale,” according to the report.

A positive for home sellers is that home sale prices increased in the second quarter in all four counties.

The sale price of a home in Washington County rose by 14.5 percent from $228,794 in 2017 to $261,931 in 2018, a difference of $33,137. Homes in Ozaukee County increased their worth by an average of 11.9 percent and went from $316,843 to $354,452, or $37,609 more.

In Waukesha County, home prices went up by 3 percent from $317,570 to $327,182, or $9,612 more. Finally in Milwaukee County, home sale prices increased 5.2 percent from $175,731 to $184,902, a difference of $9,171. Ruzicka said the increased cost of homes is “not surprising considering the lack of inventory and the fast pace of sales.”