Home Sales Up 15.5% in January
February 12, 2012 – The New Year started out where the old one left off for residential housing sales, increasing 15.5% in January in the 4-county metropolitan area. January marked the 7th month in a row that sales increased by double-digits.
Brokers reported that web activity, open house attendance and showings were up in the latter part of 2011, which lead to the increase in closed sales in January. Brokers are reporting the same kind of activity continued into January and the beginning of February.
Market dynamics continue to be dominated by: low prices, adequate supply of homes and extremely low interest rates. However, the missing ingredient for so long – consumer confidence – seems to be slowly coming around, as January sales numbers demonstrate.
Mother Nature has certainly been kind to the market this winter as well. With little to no snow, it is logistically easier for prospective buyers to look at more properties and sellers to keep their homes, driveways and sidewalks clean.
Another notable market characteristic is that 10 of the last 12 months have seen a decrease in listings. This is a very important future indicator that may portend a transition in the market that has already occurred in other areas of the country, and may result in modest price appreciation.
County-by-County Sales Analysis:
• Milwaukee County was up 12.4% in sales over 2011 (444 units vs. 395 units)
• Waukesha County was up 16.3% vs. 2010 (193 sales compared with 166)
• Washington County was up 4.9% compared to 2010 (64 vs. 61)
• Ozaukee County was even at 0% vs. a year ago (36 units vs. 36 units)