November sales of existing homes rose more than 5% in metro Milwaukee, even amid a continuing shortage of houses on the market.
It was the eighth month in 2017 with a year-over-year sales increase, which Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, said was “particularly striking,” given the low amounts of listings throughout the year.
“The two main generators of real estate activity in the metropolitan area, Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, saw declines in listings of 6.2% and 6.4%, respectively, in November,” Ruzicka said in his monthly report.
The market for the local Realtors organization, which includes Ozaukee and Washington counties in addition to Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, recorded closings on 1,540 homes last month. That compared with 1,463 in November 2016.
Through the first 11 months of 2017, home sales were up 1.6%, to 19,402 from 19,104 in the four-county metropolitan area.
Sales increased in all four counties in November compared with November 2016: Milwaukee, to 869 from 812, or 7%; Waukesha, 414 from 412, or 0.5%; Washington, 157 from 150, or 4.7%; and Ozaukee, 100 from 89, or 12.4%.
Rising sales even with a shortage of inventory illustrates the demand for housing in the metro area. That demand has led to price increases. Although the local Realtors group reports average prices on a quarterly basis, data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association shows significant jumps in median prices in the four counties in November compared with the same month a year ago.
November median prices included: Milwaukee County, $142,500 this year, up from $135,000 in 2016, or 5.6%; Washington County, $217,500, from $199,400, or 9.1%; Waukesha County, $284,625, from $254,000, or 12.1%; and Ozaukee County, $292,000, from $240,000, or 21.7%.
A separate report shows that even though there is a dearth of homes on the market in the metro area, permits to construct new houses have decreased a little in the four-county area so for this year.
MTD Marketing Services of Wisconsin Inc., which tracks housing starts in the state, reported that permits issued by municipalities for new single-family homes and duplexes through November were running 3.3% behind the same period in 2016.
Among communities with fewer home building permits this year were Brookfield, Franklin, Milwaukee, Oconomowoc, Port Washington and Sussex.
Communities with the most permits to construct new homes were Menomonee Falls, with 124 compared with 102 through November 2016, and Mequon, with 94, compared with 72.
Tribune Content Agency