Wisconsin Public Radio

State’s Home Sales Down 26% in May

Expert cites pandemic’s impact, which could continue affecting sales.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - Jun 22nd, 2020 03:25 pm
Homes on Keefe Avenue. Photo taken March 25th, 2019 by Carl Baehr.

Homes on Keefe Avenue. Photo taken March 25th, 2019 by Carl Baehr.

Wisconsin home sales saw a dramatic drop in May, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The report shows existing home sales were down 25.8 percent last month compared to May 2019.

Home sales figures reflect closings of activity that began six to eight weeks earlier, meaning the May report shows the effects of the state’s “Safer at Home” order on sales activity.

Economist David Clark of Marquette University, who consults on the WRA reports, said the decline wasn’t a surprise, given that the economy is officially in recession. Still, he said it’s significant considering that May is the first month of a typical year’s peak homebuying season.

“May is typically a month in which we sell an awful lot of homes,” Clark said. “We still sold some — we sold about 6,400 homes in total — just far less than is usually the case in the month of May.”

The peak months for home sales in a typical year are May, June, July and August.

Clark said while the pandemic’s effect on sales is likely to continue through at least the next few months, continued low mortgage rates may offset some of the declines.

Wisconsin Home Sales Sink In May As Pandemic Continues was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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