April WRA market report

Dated: May 21 2021

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The WRA's April housing report was in keeping with what we’ve seen throughout the year; an extraordinary market featuring historically low inventory and significant demand for homes. Prices continue to rise, yet buyers continue to pursue houses, driven by an accelerating economy and still near-record low interest rates. 

April monthly home sales in Wisconsin were up 14.6% over the same month in 2020, with year-to-date sales up 9.1% over the same period in 2020. The median sales price also increased just over 9.9% from April 2020 to $235000 statewide, an increase driven by a 29.5% drop in listings from April 2020 to April 2021. Statewide, days on the market for available properties decreased 14.1% from 99 to 85.

Dane County saw an increase in sales from the same month last year, with 706, a 4.7% decrease from April 2020. The average sales price stood at a robust $355,000, an 12.2% increase over the same month last year. Dane County again had one of the highest monthly median prices, ranking third highest in the state behind Ozaukee and Waukesha counties. Year to date the median home price in Dane County has increased 13.3% over the previous year to $340000, compared to $300000 in April 2020. Months of inventory for Dane County--an indicator of whether the market is trending towards buyers or sellers--dropped to 2.6, a 37.8% decrease from April 2020. A reminder, 6 months of inventory is considered a balanced market, with anything below that favoring sellers. 

By nearly any metric, Dane County is currently in an extremely strong seller's market, with prices pushing up across the state. Great if you are selling, but with buyers feeling a strain to compete for available properties. 

It’s worth noting that this intense seller’s market is a statewide phenomenon, rather than isolated to urban areas. In fact, if anything, rural and suburban areas are catching up. Months of inventory for all rural counties in the state in April 2020 was 6.3%. In April 2021, it was 2.9%, not vastly more than the metropolitan counties. 

Perhaps one bright spot for buyers may be that if you are considering “trading up” into a new home, we are seeing decreased demand for homes priced above $350000. This is not to say that the market for those homes isn’t competitive--it’s still a strong seller’s market with months of inventory at 3.2--but it is more reasonable than the market below $350000. 

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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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