Following a record year for home sales in 2020, the Wisconsin existing home market started the new year on record pace even as inventories continued to tighten statewide, according to the most recent analysis by the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA). January home sales increased 9.8% compared to that same month last year, and the median price rose 10.5% to $210,000 over that same period. This established a new January record in Wisconsin for both home sales and the median price, according to the report.
“January is typically the slowest month of the year, so it’s encouraging to see such a strong market to start 2021,” said WRA Board Chair Mary Duff. In a typical year, the month of January accounts for just 4.8% of annual sales. In contrast, sales usually peak in June, and the volume is nearly two and half times greater, accounting for 11.6% of sales. Duff cautioned that the record pace is unlikely to continue due to a severe shortage of homes for sale.
“Unfortunately, January ushered in another Wisconsin record, and that’s record-low inventories,” said Duff. There was just 2.1 months of available homes for sale in January, down from 3.5 months a year earlier. The last time there was a balanced market in the state was in summer 2017 when there was about six months of supply, and it has been a seller’s market ever since. “
Going forward, we may be able to surpass the depressed level of home sales last spring, but we will struggle to keep pace with 2020 unless inventories improve,” said Duff.