In addition to the quandary of ongoing housing price increases and affordability concerns in many U.S. markets, the first quarter of 2019 saw a fair share of adverse weather as well. Sales totals were mixed across the nation and sometimes dependent on what was a persistent wintry mix, especially in the Great Plains, Midwest and Northeast. Meanwhile, new listings and total homes for sale have been trending lower in year-over-year comparisons in many areas, and last year's marks were already quite low.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 13.9 percent to 2,027. Pending Sales were down 66.2 percent to 665. Inventory levels rose 21.4 percent to 4,003 units.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 7.2 percent to $217,000. Days on Market was down 7.8 percent to 47 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 40.0 percent to 2.8 months.
The Federal Reserve recently announced that no further interest rate hikes are planned for 2019. Given the fact that the federal funds rate has increased nine times over the past three years, this was welcome news for U.S. consumers, which carry an approximate average of $6,000 in revolving credit card debt per household. Fed actions also tend to affect mortgage rates, so the pause in rate hikes was also welcome news to the residential real estate industry.
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.