Southeastern Wisconsin’s residential real estate market generally cools down with the temperature. Winter months are often marked by decreased buyer activity, as well as fewer homes entering and leaving the market, as new listings and sold homes, respectively. This winter, however, buyer demand and activity have remained high. While inventory decreased in January 2021, both sales and sales prices were up – Nationally, Regionally and Locally.
- “Existing-home sales rose in January, marking two consecutive months of growth”
- “Total existing-home sales […] increased 0.6% from December to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 6.69 million in January.”
- “Sales in total climbed year-over-year, up 23.7% from a year ago (5.41 million in January 2020).”
- “The Midwest inched up 1.9% to an annual rate of 1,570,000 in January, a 22.7% jump from a year ago.”
- “The median price in the Midwest was $227,800, a 14.7% increase from January 2020.”
- Notable Quotes:
- “Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist [said,] ‘Sales easily could have been even 20% higher if there had been more inventory and more choices.’ “
- “Whereas much of the economy has suffered due to COVID-19, the housing sector has been one of the few bright spots, according to Yun.”
- “In NAR’s latest quarterly report, released last week, home prices in every tracked U.S. metro area increased during the fourth quarter of 2020.”
January started well for the housing market, with healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals. A robust increase in housing starts in December points to an active year for new construction. Still, higher material costs, especially lumber, and a limited supply of buildable lots will temper the number of new units.
[…] The Mortgage Bankers Association’s January research estimates approximately 2.7 million homeowners with mortgages are currently in forbearance plans. Some of these homes may eventually come to market. But given the strong appreciation in most market segments in recent years, these eventual home sales are likely to be mostly traditional sellers. However, a modest increase in short sales and foreclosures at some point this year would not be surprising.Market Reports: January 2021 by Dan Zielinski, MetroMLS & FlexMLS
Below are the Local Market Reports, by MetroMLS & ShowingTime, for the tri-county area of Walworth, Kenosha & Racine Counties, as well as my hyper-local market (Lake Geneva – Delavan – Williams Bay municipalities). As you can see, the National and Regional trends mentioned above are also reflected here. We have all seen less New Listings, more Closed Sales, and higher Median Sales Prices – across the board.
For more on the commercial side of the market, read the latest report by National Association of REALTORS®: January 2021 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends and Outlook
Sellers: How do low interest rates, low inventory, and high demand affect you? It means you’re more likely to have more buyers interested in your home, willing to pay higher prices. What are you waiting for!? Take advantage of this sellers’ market while it weighs so heavily in your favor.
Buyers: If you think you’re going to buy a home this year, do yourself a favor and start the process now. Get a hold of your local lender, first, then your realtor. Whether repairing your credit or just updating your pre-approval, cross this bridge first. It is a competitive market out there, and you do not want to leave financing to the last minute – trust me. Once that’s started, have your realtor set you up on an MLS search and check the market, at least once a day. Changes are happening rapidly, as you will see. You can do this! Persistence, Preparedness, and Patience are key!
Did you know: You CAN buy a home if you owe the IRS back taxes. Find out how here: Can You Buy a House if You Owe Taxes? by Credit.com ™, Inc.
If January set any precedent for the year to come, we’re in for quite the ride in 2021. Remember, be proactive, not reactive. As renown British scientist, Charles Darwin, once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent; it is the one most adaptable to change.”
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