Wisconsin homes sales down, prices up in July

MADISON, Wis. (WKBT) - The shrinking inventory of existing homes kept sales below last July and drove prices to record levels, according to the most recent analysis by the Wisconsin REALTORS Association (WRA).

The July sales of existing homes dropped for the second straight year, falling 5.0 percent compared to July 2016 and falling 7.5 percent relative to July 2015. Median prices in July increased 5.9 percent to $180,000 compared to July 2016, the highest recorded July price since the WRA recalibrated its data collection methodology in 2005. Home prices bottomed out in 2011 at $140,000 and have since steadily increased 28.5 percent.

“Low unemployment rates and relatively low mortgage rates continue to fuel the demand side of the housing
market, but inventory constraints have kept our sales down,” said WRA board chairman Erik Sjowall.

“With all the talk of the Federal Reserve increasing interest rates, the 30-year rate is only about a half
percent above its lowest point in late 2011,” said Sjowall. “REALTORS® would be selling a lot more homes if
inventories were growing, but we’re seeing just the opposite,” he said. Inventories are 13.8 percent lower
than July of last year and 45 percent below July 2011 where they peaked at nearly 72,000 homes available
for sale. “With new listings flat and just 5.8 months of available supply, there is no relief on the horizon,”
Sjowall said.

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