There has been a general slowdown in sales across the country, and this cannot be blamed on negative economic news. Unemployment remains low and wage growth, though nothing to overly celebrate, has held steady or increased for several years in a row. There is strong demand for home buying, emphasized by higher prices and multiple offers on homes for sale in many submarkets. As has been the case for month after month - and now year after year - low inventory is the primary culprit for any sales malaise rather than lack of offers.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 4.6 percent to 2,651. Pending Sales were down 55.9 percent to 921. Inventory levels fell 0.9 percent to 6,202 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 7.3 percent to $220,000. Days on Market was down 30.5 percent to 41 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 2.5 percent to 4.1 months.
With job creation increasing and mortgage rates remaining low, the pull toward homeownership is expected to continue. Yet housing starts have been drifting lower, and some are beginning to worry that a more serious housing shortage could be in the cards if new construction and building permit applications continue to come in lower in year-over-year comparisons while demand remains high. Homebuilder confidence suggests otherwise, so predictions of a gloomy future should be curbed for the time being.
All data for the market reports comes from the Multiple Listing Service, Inc. and is powered by 10K Research and Marketing. You can follow this link:
Metro MLS Market Updates
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and should reflect only on trends that affect the economics of real estate.