MARKET REPORTS: MARCH 2018
New residential real estate activity has been relatively slow in the first quarter of 2018, yet housing is proving its resiliency in a consistently improving economy. Some markets have had increases in signed contracts, but the vast majority of
the nation continues to experience fewer closed sales and lower inventory
compared to last year at this time. Despite there being fewer homes for sale,
buyer demand has remained strong enough to keep prices on the rise, which
should continue for the foreseeable future.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 14.8 percent to 2,264. Pending Sales were down 58.1 percent to 821. Inventory levels fell 3.3 percent to 4,330 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.5 percent to $202,500. Days on Market was down 23.9 percent to 51 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 7.4 percent to 2.9 months.
The Federal Reserve raised its key short-term interest rate by .25 percent in March, citing concerns about inflation. It is the sixth rate increase by the Fed since December 2015, and at least two more rate increases are expected this year. Borrowing money will be more expensive, particularly for home equity loans, credit cards and adjustable rate mortgages, but rising wages and a low national unemployment rate that has been at 4.1 percent for five months in a row would seem to indicate that we are prepared for this. And although mortgage rates have risen to their highest point in four years, they have been quite low for several years.