Wisconsin’s housing sales are outpacing last year’s numbers even as the state has seen a sharp decline in the number of available homes.
The latest figures from the Wisconsin Realtors Association show 38,531 sales of existing homes in the first six months of the year. That’s an 8.4 percent increase over the 2020 sales numbers to that point, though sales plunged for part of last spring due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Still, sales last month were even with June 2020, even though the total number of listings fell 19.3 percent from 2020 to 2021. The decline in homes on the market has constrained home sales for the last few years.
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Economist David Clark of Marquette University, who releases the monthly reports in conjunction with the Wisconsin Realtors Association, said one bright spot on the supply side was an uptick in new listings last month.
"If, in fact, there’s an improvement on the supply side, then I think that we may inch a little bit (in sales) above where we were last year," he said.
High demand and a shrinking number of homes for sale continues to push prices upward.
The median home price in Wisconsin rose 15.2 percent in June, to $257,000, compared to June of last year.
Clark said those higher prices are partly offset because of continued low mortgage rates and Wisconsin prices running historically lower than those in other parts of the country.
"Our housing has always been relatively affordable, certainly compared to the national picture, but even the Midwest," he said.