For much of the country, the first quarter of 2019 provided several disruptive weather patterns that contributed to less foot traffic toward potential home sales. Coupled with low affordability, higher prices and an inventory situation in its infancy of recovering from record lows – not to mention several more days of wintry weather in April – slower sales persisted across most residential real estate markets. However, buyers are beginning to return in force this spring. For well-priced homes in desirable locations, competition is fierce.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region increased 0.4 percent to 2,359. Pending Sales were down 61.9 percent to 751. Inventory levels rose 29.9 percent to 4,385 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 11.0 percent to $233,000. Days on Market was down 18.8 percent to 39 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 47.6 percent to 3.1 months.
The national unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent during April 2019, the lowest level since 1969. A historically low unemployment rate can provide reassurance to wary consumers. But in order for sales to increase on a grand scale, buyers will need more spending power, or sellers will need to reduce prices to land where buyers are most active. Neither situation is likely to occur in 2019, yet inventory is straining to keep pace in the most competitive price
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.