Housing Inventory Continues to Be Tight in Wisconsin

September Homes Sales Up 13.1%

3rd Qtr Sales Up 12.5% 

Market Highlights
  • Strongest September in 10 years
  • Inventory Continues to Be Tight
  • Prices Up In All Counties 
October 14, 2015 – Home sales were up 13.1% in September in the Metropolitan Milwaukee market. 
1,738 homes sold in September compared to 1,537 in September of 2014.  Comparing the numbers to 2013, sales were up 17.1% (1,484 in ’13).
The last time the metropolitan market saw over 1,700 sales in September was in 2005.
County
September
 Sales 2014
September Sales 2015 % Change
Milwaukee 807 905 12.1%
Waukesha 467 553 18.4%
Washington 153 163 6.5%
Ozaukee 110 117 6.4%
4 County Area 1,537 1,738 13.1%

Through the 3rd quarter, Washington County lead the region with a 20.4% increase in sales.  However, all four metropolitan counties saw very healthy gains in units sold, totaling 15,347 regionally.  The last time the market saw over 15,000 sales through the 3rd quarter was in 2006, when there were 15,803 sales. 
County 
3rd Qtr Sales 2014
3rd Qtr Sales 2015 % Change
Milwaukee 7,532 8,128 7.9%
Waukesha 3,974 4,593 15.6%
Washington 1,304 1,570 20.4%
Ozaukee 904 1,057 16.9%
4 County Area 13,714 15,348 11.9%

The 2015 market can be characterized as very solid, with buyers quickly absorbing available listings since the beginning of the year.  The GMAR expects this trend to continue through the rest of the year.  Based on recent data it appears that total sales for 2015 will be approximately 18,827 units, about 9.8% ahead of 2014.
Listings Decrease
New listings have dropped the last two months (1.3% in August and 3.4% in September), but in the first nine months of 2015, five had listing increases.  Regardless, the extra volume they provided did not alleviate strong buyer demand, which still outstripped supply.
County
September Listings 2014
September Listings 2015 % Change
Milwaukee 1,313 1,267 -3.5%
Waukesha 625 636 1.8%
Washington 236 202 -14.1%
Ozaukee 146 135 -7.5%
4 County Area 2,320 2,240 -3.4%

County
3rd Qtr Listings 2014
3rd Qtr Listings 2015 % Change
Milwaukee 13,098 13,071 -0.2%
Waukesha 6,611 6,823 3.2%
Washington 2,175 2,279 4.8%
Ozaukee 1,443 1,500 4.0%
4 County Area 23,327 23,673 1.5%
Inventory
The seasonally adjusted inventory level for June was 6.7 months, down from August’s 7.0 month level.  The seasonally adjusted level was 8.2 months in September 2014.
Subtracting the 1,569 listings with an active offer from current listings results in an effective inventory level of 4.5 months for September.  A year ago, the same calculation showed September’s inventory level at 5.9 months.
The decrease in inventory – by well over a full month in the last year – reveals just how tight the market is in 2015.  
 
Average Sale Price
Healthy increases in unit sales and tight inventory has expressed itself in higher prices.  The average sale price in all four counties was up solidly in the 3rd quarter.  Ozaukee County lead the way with an average sale price increase of $22,722, 8% ahead of 2015.
County
Avg Sale Price ’14
Avg Sale Price ’15 $ Change % Change
Milwaukee $149,582 $160,645 $11,063 7%
Waukesha $280,978 $288,866 $7,888 3%
Washington $205,626 $221,841 $16,215 8%
Ozaukee $273,281 $296,003 $22,722 8%

While reasonable price gains are always welcome, the market has not completely recovered from a very deep recession.  Prices for the 3rd quarter in the 4-county region peaked with an average sale price of $258,922 in 2006, and bottomed out at $210,513 in 2012, an 18.7% drop.   The following table shows where each county is in the recovery and how much each needs to grow to get back to peak prices.

Average Sale Price for 3rd Quarter

County
Peak
Valley Current Back to Peak
Milwaukee 2007 $192,276 2012 $129,331 $160,645 19.7%
Waukesha 2006 $308,354 2011 $257,477 $288,866 6.7%
Washington 2007 $232,642 2012 $196,013 $221,841 4.9%
Ozaukee 2006 $315,352 2012 $257,866 $296,003 6.5%
4 County Area 2006 $258,922 2012 $210,513 $241,839 7.1%

Hottest Markets
The following table shows the most popular communities in the region (with at least 75 unit sales), characterized by those that generally had an increase in units sold, an increase in average sale price, and a decrease in days-on-market (DOM).

 
Community Avg Sale Price ’15 Avg Sale Price ’14 Change in Units Sold Change in Sale Price % Sale Price Change Change in DOM
Brookfield $315,994 $301,896 19% $14,098 5% -32%
Cedarburg $309,536 $283,130 26% $26,406 9% 0%
Franklin $236,486 $222,109 22% $14,377 6% -15%
Germantown $244,505 $240,186 12% $4,319 2% -13%
Glendale $170,554 $166,312 14% $4,242 3% -6%
Grafton $244,715 $228,245 13% $16,470 7% -12%
Greenfield $155,644 $151,072 2% $4,572 3% -12%
Hartford $189,589 $168,985 28% $20,604 12% -19%
Kewaskum $186,066 $167,184 38% $18,882 11% -2%
Lisbon $340,752 $313,870 18% $26,882 9% -5%
Menomonee Falls $267,543 $263,087 8% $4,456 2% -9%
Mequon $415,948 $393,679 17% $22,269 6% -16%
Muskego $283,191 $274,195 14% $8,996 3% -21%
New Berlin $247,214 $240,506 19% $6,708 3% -16%
Oconomowoc $293,299 $285,520 14% $7,779 3% -11%
Pewaukee $274,061 $256,506 16% $17,555 7% -7%
Port Washington
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