May Home Sales Down Compared To 2013, Though Prices Continue To Increase

Weather, Fewer Homes On Market May Play Into Decrease In Home Sales

Home prices in Wisconsin have been steadily increasing in Wisconsin over the past two years. Photo: Lexi Longstreet (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Home sales in Wisconsin are slightly down from last year, although the average value of a house continues to rise.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, home sales declined 6.9 percent last month compared to May 2013. Sales were down even more in the south-central, southeast, and central parts of the state. The organization attributes the decline to a colder-than-average spring and tighter federal lending restrictions.

First Weber Group vice president Paul Brown, who is based in Madison, said there are also fewer homes on the market than last year.

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“We’ve had situations where buyers have written several offers on several properties and been in competition on every single one,” said Brown. “If they lose out, some of them do get disheartened and they decide to wait a while to buy. They can’t find their perfect house because inventory is lower than last year.”

Brown said people who are pricing their homes competitively and placing them on the market in good shape are more likely to sell faster and get more competitive offers.

The median home value in Wisconsin is $150,000, which is up almost 4 percent compared to last year.

Wisconsin Realtor Association president and CEO Mike Theo said for more than two years, home values have been increasing slowly.

“It makes housing a very good investment in the state of Wisconsin, but it’s not climbing at such a rate that it’s both unsustainable and dramatically hurting our housing affordability here,” said Theo.

Theo said he anticipates that home sales will pick up over the next few months. He said low interest rates and a state economy that’s steadily improving should drive buyers to the housing market.