State of the Market — December 2013

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From Joe Horning, President of Shorewest, REALTORS®

Horning, Joe 2 head shot 0612Southeastern Wisconsin’s solid real estate market started to slow in October; sales of existing homes saw just a 3.5% increase over October of 2012. Statewide existing home sales were down 0.1% in October, representing the first month that sales did not increase over the prior year month. On a positive note, the average sales price for Wisconsin increased by 5.6% in October.

Existing homes being listed for sale in October saw an 8.6% increase in the Metro Milwaukee area.  Despite the increase in number of homes coming to the market, the current months of inventory is at 7.5 months compared to 11.4 months last October. (Months of inventory is how long it would take to sell all homes currently on the market given the monthly sales pace.) This is a clear sign of a healthy real estate market. Sellers are feeling they will receive a competitive price for their homes so they are bringing them to market.

The market is showing signs of reaching a balance point. Sellers can ask for a reasonable price and buyers know they can no longer demand deep discounts. The swing from a seller’s market back to equilibrium will benefit all as sales return to a normal, seasonal pattern.

The National Association of REALTORS® conference was held the first week of November and Chief Economist Lawrence Yun made predictions for the 2014 national real estate market. He predicted single digit increases in home prices, a level sales pace and 1% increase in interest rates for 2014. These are national predictions for the overall direction going forward.  Real estate is a local business and every local market is different. Shorewest, REALTORS® is the expert in bringing buyers and sellers together. Let us explain the unique market conditions in your neighborhood.

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