Jeramey Jannene
Eyes on Milwaukee

City Is State’s 4th Easiest Place to Sell a Home

But challenges with neighborhood stability cause city's ranking to drop.

By - Aug 23rd, 2019 05:24 pm
Houses on Astor. Photo by Carl Baehr.

Houses on Astor. Photo by Carl Baehr.

It’s a sellers’ market in Milwaukee.

The city ranks as the fourth easiest place to sell a home in Wisconsin according to a new study from SmartAsset.

The average home in Milwaukee spends 48.8 days on the market before selling, trailing only Oak Creek, Wauwatosa and Cudahy. Oak Creek posted the best mark at 29.1 days. The suburbs of West Allis, Shorewood and Greenfield are also included in the top ten of the Milwaukee County-dominated list.

But the data tells a different story when considering factors beyond time on the market.

The city’s challenges with poverty and neighborhood stability are highlighted by other metrics SmartAsset evaluated to calculate its Healthiest Markets Index. The New York-based technology firm reports that 24.2 percent of Milwaukee homeowners are underwater (negative equity) on their mortgage and 22.1 percent of homes have decreasing values. City residents have only lived in their homes for 12.1 years compared to a statewide average of 15.8

When reranking markets by the market health index, which factors stability, risk, ease of sale and affordability, Milwaukee County communities all but vanish from the state’s top 10 list. Cudahy is the only municipality still on the list.

Waukesha County fares much better by the broader ranking, with New Berlin, Waukesha, Muskego and Brookfield all ranking in the top 10. The Green Bay suburb of Howard ranked number one, with the city of Green Bay coming in third.

Data for the study came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2017 five year American Community Survey and Zillow.

Statewide 11.7 percent of homeowners have negative equity in their house according to SmartAsset, less than half the Milwaukee rate. But the city fares better when considering homes decreasing in value: 41.3 percent of Wisconsin homeowners face a decreasing home value. The average Wisconsin home stays on the market for 191.1 days.

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