November WRA Housing Report

Dated: December 22 2020

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November continued the trend of strong housing reports from the WRA (Wisconsin Realtor's Association). November monthly home sales in Wisconsin were up 15.2% over the same month in 2019. This is not quite as big of an increase as in October (24.9%), but still a very strong market. The median list price also increased just over 15.8% from November 2019 to $223000 statewide. Of the 72 counties in the state, 9 saw decreases in median prices, up from only 11 in October (note: 6 counties did not report median price data from October). 

Dane county again saw an increase in sales from the same month last year, with 736 sales, a 13.4% increase over November 2019. The average sales price stood at just under $319,000, an 4.6% increase over the same month last year. Dane county again had one of the highest monthly median prices, ranking fourth highest in the state behind Ozaukee, Waukesha, and Sawyer counties respectively. Months of inventory for Dane county--an indicator of whether the market is trending towards buyers or sellers--dropped to 2.3, a 30.3% decrease from November 2019. A reminder, 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market, with anything below that favoring sellers. By that metric, Dane County was an even stronger sellers' market in November.

Why are prices continuing to trend upwards? Two reasons seem to be the primary factors: historically low mortgage interest rates and low overall inventory.  Again in November, listings statewide were down, nearly 31% from the previous year. Sales, though, continue to increase. This continuing strong demand is pushing prices higher. 

While it's hard to predict where this record-setting market will go, we do know that the winter months do tend to see a slow down, with a more competitive market for buyers. Some indication of that is the increase in number of counties which saw price decreases last month. And as always, the wider the search, the more likely a buyer is to find a bargain, or at least a more competitive environment. 

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David Pausch

In November of 2000, I closed on my first house, a rough-around-the-edges 1922 colonial with lots of sun, not a lot of storage, and an enormous oak tree in its postage stamp-sized back yard. From the ....

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