September WRA Housing Report

Dated: October 20 2020

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September continued a trend of strong real estate sales months in Wisconsin, per the Wisconsin Realtors Association's monthly report. Statewide, home sales were up a whopping 18.1% over the same month in 2019. The median list price also increased just over 17.9% from September 2019 to $229,900 statewide. Of the 72 counties in the state, on 5 saw decreases in median prices. 

Dane county again saw an increase in sales from the same month last year, with 906 sales, a stunning 42.5% increase over September 2019. The average sales price stood at $320,000, an 8.9% increase over the same month last year. Dane county again had one of the highest monthly median prices, fourth highest in the state behind Waukesha, Ozaukee and Door counties respectively. Months of inventory for Dane county--an indicator of whether the market is trending towards buyers or sellers--dropped to 3.2, a 17.9% decrease from September 2019. A reminder, 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market, with anything below that favoring sellers. 

Why are prices continuing to trend upwards? Predominantly because supply is not meeting demand. In September, listings statewide again were down nearly 25%, whiles sales increased. This continuing strong demand is pushing prices higher. Record low interest rates have kept homes relatively affordable, and those rates are expected to remain low for the foreseeable future. 

Will the autumn bring a slowing? Conventional wisdom can seem to indicate that the autumn is a slower time in the real estate market. But the numbers aren't showing that currently. So if you've thought about selling, it's still a strong time to do so. And there are still homes for buyers who are willing to cast their search area nets across wider areas. Rural and "micropolitan" counties--such as Sauk, Dodge, and Jefferson which border Dane county--all have better months of inventory numbers for buyers than metropolitan counties like Dane. As working from home trends lessen the impact of commutes, these counties could be good for buyers looking for more options and less competition.

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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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