Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance

Home Values Still Below 2008 Peak

Statewide residential values in 2016 were 4.4% below 2008.

By - Jun 28th, 2017 05:17 pm
Homes along Auer Avenue. Photo by Carl Baehr.

Homes along Auer Avenue. Photo by Carl Baehr.

Home values continued to rise statewide in Wisconsin last year, but they remained below pre-recession levels, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to public policy research and citizen education.

Drawing on state Department of Revenue figures, WISTAX researchers found that total statewide residential values in 2016 were 4.4% below 2008. By comparison, commercial values were 6.7% higher, while manufacturing properties values grew 10.7%.

Overall, 46 of the state’s 72 counties reported declines in total residential values during the period, while 26 reported increases. Counties where values declined by at least 5% outnumbered those that increased by the same amount, 26 to 16.

The largest differences were most apparent in existing home values. In 11 counties, all in west-central Wisconsin, existing home values recovered enough to exceed their 2008 values. Of these, only two saw value gains of 5% or more (La Crosse with 6.9% and Trempleau with 5.1%), while the majority of increases were less than 3%.

In the other 61 counties, existing home values had yet to recover to their 2008 levels. In 26 of these counties, values were off by more than 10%; virtually all were located near the Illinois border, in central Wisconsin, or across the north. In another 22 counties, existing property values dropped between 5% and 10%.

“There is not a single county in eastern Wisconsin where existing residential home values did not fall. The same is true for the northern third of the state,” the report concludes.

The recovery of values in some parts of the state may be related to job growth, WISTAX researchers suggest. Western Wisconsin, greater Madison, and the Fox Valley all have seen the largest increases in employment and residential property values.

The report notes that until the 2007-09 recession, property markets in the state were generally strong. Between 2000 and 2008, total values grew nearly 80%, with residential (89%) and commercial (82%) leading the way, followed by manufacturing (29%). Property appreciation during the period actually outpaced income growth, which prompted WISTAX at the time to warn of an imminent housing “bubble.”

One thought on “WisTax: Home Values Still Below 2008 Peak”

  1. Tom DeWire says:

    Just to chime in… are these nominal or real prices (inflation)? Because the Case Schiller Index, the standard index of home prices, shows we’re really at ~2002 levels of real home prices nationwide, and I’d be shocked if Wisconsin was even at that level.

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