Jeramey Jannene

Who Lives in Milwaukee’s Condos?

By - Feb 5th, 2009 10:04 am
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The UWM Center for Urban Initiatives and Research (CUIR) undertook the first comprehensive study on Milwaukee’s “condo boom” to understand who was actually living in the condos stretching from the northern part of Walker’s Point up to North Avenue on the East Side.

They found a couple really good things from the perspective of an urbanist (or anyone that lives in Milwaukee for that matter).  First, that the condo owners in 88% of the cases are using their condos as their primary residence.  A sign that they’re likely spending and investing their time and money in Milwaukee, and most likely in the very neighborhood in which they reside.  Second, 45% of respondents said location was the most important factor in purchasing their condo.  A great sign that things are working in some of Milwaukee’s densest neighborhoods.

The study also isn’t some fly by night guess at what condo owners might be like, 2,606 unit owners were contacted, and 804 responses were collected.

A couple of other key highlights include that for residents using the condo as their primary residence 45% previously lived in the city of Milwaukee.  That number grows to 65% if you consider all of Milwaukee County.  Nearly 10% of owners are from Waukesha County.  Only 4% of condo owners using their condo as a primary residence previously lived in the Chicago area, but 18% of condo owner’s last primary residence was out of state.

Only 2% of total condo owners live in the Chicago area and don’t don’t use their condo as a primary residence.  Out of all the condo owners that responded, only 4% of condo owners don’t use it as their primary residence and live in the Milwaukee metro area, with almost half of them living in Milwaukee County

In what did they live before?  The study found that 38% lived in apartments, and an equal and opposite 38% lived in single-family homes.

What does the study show?  You can make a lot of assumptions from the study, but you can’t deny that it appears people want to live in Milwaukee.

You can read the entire study yourself at the UWM CUIR website.

Categories: Real Estate

4 thoughts on “Who Lives in Milwaukee’s Condos?”

  1. Very interesting looking study. I think lots of cities could benefit from something similar. I’m very glad to see the high percentage of owners using them as primary residences, which is unlike what I’ve seen elsewhere anecdotally.

  2. Dave Reid says:

    @The Urbanophile I think you point out the importance of actually researching the topic. Because for example there was a belief in Milwaukee due to anecdotally reports that many of the condo owners were from Chicago, but the report shows that isn’t true.

  3. Jeremy H says:

    I have always had to chuckle at that assumption. A couple years ago the Journal Sentinal spotlights one Chicago couple who bought a unit in Renner’s building in the Third Ward and all of a sudden, all of the condo buyers are from Chicago. As if Milwaukeeans are incapable of having that kind of money, or better yet, have no desire to live in an urban setting, God forbid. I live in a downtown condo building with roughly 30 units, and I am aware of one unit that is used as a secondary home to someone outside of the Milwaukee area, and their primary residence is in the Twin Cities area.

    “Who is buying/living in all of those condos?” everyone always says. The same people who are buying/living in “all of those houses in the suburbs”. Amazingly no one ever sees the glut of suburban housing stock. You would have a much better time selling a downtown condo than you would have selling a house in Mequon in this market.

  4. MilwaukeeD says:

    While I don’t believe the “buyers from Chicago” hype…it is also likely that buyers from Chicago who use condos as second homes didn’t respond to the survey.

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