The hot summer market continued to sizzle last month, in our hyper-local market, the state of Wisconsin, and Nationally.
According to the National Association of REALTORS®,
“Existing-home sales continued to climb in August, marking three consecutive months of positive sales gains, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Each of the four major regions experienced both month-over-month and year-over-year growth […]”Existing Home Sales Report by National Association of REALTORS®
The MetroMLS echoed this positive message for the Metro-Milwaukee area, within which I reside and work, for last month.
“The housing and stock markets continue to be the leaders in the economy. In August, showings remained at strong levels while housing inventory remained limited, continuing the competitive bidding market we have seen in recent months. With the stock indexes at or near record highs as mortgage rates remain near record lows, signs point to a busy fall housing market.
Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased by 12.4% to $281,080. Days on Market remained flat at 28 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 20.8% to 2.9 months. As we look towards the fall, we usually see housing activity slow down as the back-to-school season begins. But, this year is far from normal. While uncertainty remains on what effects the upcoming elections and any seasonal resurgence of COVID-19 may have on the financial and housing markets, the healthy housing demand we see today will create significant tailwinds in the near term”Monthly Indicators by MetroMLS
Finally, as far as market reports go, the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association had similar things to say in regards to August home sales, in our tri-county area of Kenosha, Racine and Walworth Counties.
“According to the monthly WRA home sales report that was released on September 21 , a new three-month record for the most Wisconsin home sales ever was set in the months of June, July and August.
In Walworth County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.1% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 7.9%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Walworth County is down by 3.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 11.1%.
In Racine County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 4.4% higher than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 18.4%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Racine County is down by 0.9% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 8.9%.
In Kenosha County, the number of home sales in August 2020 was 2.9% lower than in August of last year, while the median home sale price increased by 13.0%. Through the first eight months of 2020, the number of home sales in Kenosha County is down by 2.5% compared to the first eight months of last year, while the year-to-date median home sale price is up by 7.4%. […]Wisconsin Housing Market Records Record Sales for Summer by Wisconsin REALTORS® Association
Why are we seeing positive things come out of a market in the midst of a pandemic? One of the major contributors is mortgage interest rates for home loans.
“The all-time low for mortgage rates was set in mid-September, averaging just 2.86%. With record-low mortgage rates, prospective home buyers can significantly decrease their borrowing costs.”Mortgage Rates Edge Up, Still Near Record Lows by National Association of REALTORS®
Another noteworthy contributor to this uptick in the real estate market is our decreasing unemployment rate.
“In Walworth County, the unemployment rate dropped from 6.6% in July, to 5.4% in August. These figures compare favorably to the national unemployment rate, which was 8.4% in August […]”The State of Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development report
Overall, it has been one heck of a summer. Personally, I have experienced incredibly high buyer demand and frustratingly low inventory. This has resulted in many more offers written compared to offers accepted. More than once, I have had buyers be outbid by cash offers with a quick closing date more often than I am used to. It also meant I took the same buyer out on more showings than it usually takes to get them under contract. I’ve experienced many pre-listing appointments where the potential seller is “just curious,” and/or folks that want to “wait to see what happens,” with the market, the economy, and the country overall. Lastly, I’ve seen new listings go under contract within DAYS of hitting the market, and upwards of 10 showings the first day or two of listing.
All things considered, my message is very similar to last month. Buyers, if you are at all serious about purchasing a home, you must be ready to jump. Get your pre-approval ready to go, and check your MLS search frequently; when the right home comes onto the market, you will have to get in there ASAP or you’ll miss out. Sellers, the lack of inventory means when your home is listed, you better be ready to move; it is very likely that your home will sell quickly.
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