It’s been quite a run for the Wisconsin real estate market this summer as the re-opening of the state’s economy in June combined with record-low mortgage interest rates resulted in a new three-month record in home sales, according to the most recent analysis of the state housing market by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA).
Focusing on the August 2020 market, sales rose 0.7% relative to August 2019. At the same time, tight inventories drove median prices up 14.1% to $235,000. On a year-to-date basis, existing home sales were just 1% below the first eight months of last year, and median prices rose 8.8% to $219,500.
A review of summer home sales indicates growth of 2.8% compared to the June-through-August period of 2019. Although June home sales saw a modest decline relative to that same month in 2019, very robust sales growth in July and a slight improvement in the August market pushed summer home sales to 27,795, which is the strongest summer sales volume on record for the state.
“We’ve seen remarkable resilience in this market, given the strong headwinds we faced this year,” said WRA Chairman Steve Beers, noting low inventories have kept the state in a strong seller’s market for the last three years, which has limited buying opportunities. Moreover, the recent COVID-induced recession effectively shut down the housing market in the latter part of the spring. “The good news is that mortgage rates have never been lower,” said Beers. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage continued its downward trend, falling to 2.94% in August, setting a new record low for the fifth straight month, and that has really fueled housing demand.