Sales of homes in the 4-county Metropolitan Milwaukee real estate market increased 3.5% compared to the same period in 2012. There were a total of 1,434 homes sold, compared to 1,386 last October.
The 3.5% increase in regional sales may be a sign that the marketplace is settling into a more gradual sales pace. Rather than seeing large, double-digit increases ? fueled by discounts and low prices ? steady sales increases would point to a market with competitive pricing and neither buyers nor sellers dominating a transaction.
Cumulative sales through October totaled 15,351, putting the market on track to end the year with just under 18,000 sales.
Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties saw a moderate increase in sales in October, whereas Washington and Ozaukee Counties saw insignificant decreases in the number of units sold (both counties had one less sale than the previous year).
All are following a ?normal? pattern of sales for the year, characterized by low sales in the first few months of the year (as listings are added to the market, increasing inventory). In spring, sales take off, consuming inventory through the summer, ending about Labor Day. The fall sees a gradual trailing off of sales to the end of the year (and a rise in inventory).
Homes placed on the market increased for the seventh month in a row in October, going up 8.6% ? the first time the market has seen a sustained period of increased listings since before the recession.
Despite the increase in listing activity, the market?s inventory level was 7.5-months, down slightly from September?s 7.6 level. A year ago, the inventory level was at 11.4-months. If the 1,177 listings with an active offer are subtracted from current listings, the inventory level drops to 5.3-months.
The 8.6% increase in listings is a sign of a healthy real estate market, as sellers trust they will receive a competitive price for their house, but the number of current listings without an active offer indicates the market has room for more.
The market is proving to be very ?balanced,? in contrast to the wild swings we saw over the last decade. Sellers should not assume they will get whatever they ask for, and buyers should know the days of deep discounts are gone; a REALTORS? guidance will help both parties purchase or sell a property for a fair price.
Provided by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors