Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS®
Press Release

October Home Sales Up 9.1%

Market Highlights: Strongest October in 11 years and inventory is still tight.

By - Nov 11th, 2016 09:01 am

November 11, 2016 – Home sales were up 9.1% in October, marking 23 of the last 26 months of positive sale prices. 1,697 homes sold in October compared to 1,844 in October 2015.  Comparing the numbers to 2014, sales were up 14.1% (1,487 in ‘14).  The 1,697 unit sales in October was the highest sales level for that month since 2005, when 1,659 units were sold.

All four metropolitan counties are experiencing strong market conditions for October.  However, given the demand that exists, the market probably would have seen higher sales if the pool of inventory was bigger. The lack of listings under approximately $350,000 has slowed buyers’ searches, and in some cases prevented them from acquiring a home.

County October Sales %

Change

2015 2016
Milwaukee 833 880 5.6%
Waukesha 484 501 3.5%
Washington 155 180 16.1%
Ozaukee 83 136 63.9%
4 County Area 1,555 1,697 9.1%

Listings Are Up

October continued the two year trend of reduced listings, dropping 7.9% from the year before.  15 of the last 22 months had negative listings, including 8 of the 10 months in 2016.

County October Listings %

Change

2015 2016
Milwaukee 1,208 1,090 -9.8%
Waukesha 544 525 -3.5%
Washington 181 175 -3.3%
Ozaukee 115 96 -16.5%
4 County Area 2,048 1,886 -7.9%

Inventory Is Tight, Again!

Inventory (units left side)

Inventory (units left side)

The seasonally adjusted inventory level for October was 5.2 months, down from September’s 5.5 month level.  The seasonally adjusted level was 6.4 months a year ago (October 2015). A general rule of thumb in real estate is that a 6 month seasonally adjusted inventory level points to a “balanced” market.

If we subtract listings with an active offer (1,745) from the 7,024 listings currently available, we have an effective inventory level of only 3.2 months, down from September’s 3.4 month level.  A year ago, the same calculation showed an inventory level of 4.2 months.

Where to go

Buyers should seek the counsel of a REALTOR® in determining their best housing options, and sellers need a REALTORS® expert advice in making correct marketing decisions with their home.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS® is a 4,000-member strong professional organization dedicated to providing information, services and products to “help REALTORS® help their clients” buy and sell real estate.  Data for this report was collected by Metro MLS, Inc. a wholly-owned subsidiary of the GMAR.

* Sales and Listing figures differ between the “Monthly Stats” and “4th qtr” (or year-end) because the collection of “Monthly Stats” ends on the 10th of each month; whereas the “4th qtr” is a continuous tally to 12/31.  For example, if a sale occurred on October 29th, but the agent does not record the sale until August 11th, that sale would not be included in the October sales figures (or any subsequent month’s total) but would be added to the annual total sales figure in the “4th qtr” total.

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