Monthly home sales remain seasonally low in January
Milwaukee-WOW counties see a 3.5% decline

By Freeman Staff

Feb. 14, 2019

 A home at 217 Barstow St. in Waukesha displayed a for sale sign with
an accepted offer Wednesday.
Brandon Anderegg/Conley Media

WAUKESHA — As is typical for the first month of the year, January home sales in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-Washington-Ozaukee counties were slow. However, they were still lower than one year ago.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors on Wednesday reported that sales decreased 3.5 percent when comparing January to one year ago.

The only county that saw an increase in home sales last month was Waukesha at 1.9 percent. Sales in Washington County declined 20.4 percent, followed by Ozaukee at 19.3 percent and Milwaukee at 1.7 percent.

“It is difficult to deduce what the market will be like in the future based on January sales. That is because the winter months are historically low sales months. Out of about 20,000 total sales in each of the last 3 years, there were between 933-1,045 sales in January,” GMAR President Mike Ruzicka said in the report. “Nonetheless, January 2019 was the 7th month out of the last nine with lower sales, dating back to May 2018.”

Lack of affordable housing is still a main contributor to lackluster sales, Realtors have cited, Ruzicka said.

While home listings declined or remained nearly neutral in the other three counties when comparing January 2019 to January 2018, Waukesha County had an increase of 20.8 percent in January. Milwaukee was close to neutral with an increase of 0.3 percent for the month. Washington County had a decline of 24.9 percent and Ozaukee County’s number went down by 19.3 percent.

“Another trend continuing from where 2018 left off is an increase in listings, which will hopefully address the deficiency in sales in the months to come. Many homes listed in January will become sales in February and March,” Ruzicka wrote. “The 4-county area saw listings go up 1.9 percent in January, the fourth month in a row of increased listings. Waukesha County led the way with a hefty 20.8 percent increase.”