Shortage of Homes: How it has effected year-to-date Sales?

Despite total listings being down 17 percent in August compared to the same time last year, Wisconsin still saw a 3 percent increase in home sales, according to a recent analysis from the Wisconsin REALTORS Association.

The shortage of homes has resulted in an overall decline in year-to-date sales, however. There have been 1.9 percent fewer sales this year compared to the same time-frame last year, according the WRA’s data. Still, 2017 was a very strong sales year in terms of volume.

Regional numbers show the direct link of home sales to inventory. In Dane County, where inventory is down 12.5 percent compared to August 2017, home sales have declined 3.8 percent. Dane County year-to-date sales have dropped 3.3 percent.

The trend has pushed home prices and mortgage rates up. The median home price rose 6.9 percent statewide from August 2017 to August 2018. In Dane County, that increase was 3.7 percent. The shift has affected affordability, with the Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index falling from 205 percent in August 2017 to 194 percent this year.

Interest rates on 30-year fixed rate mortgages have increased approximately a half-percent since last summer, according to data from Freddie Mac.

Overall, homes in Wisconsin are still relatively affordable. Homebuyers should be sure to line up their finances, be prepared to move quickly and, of course, partner with an experienced Restaino REALTOR who can help them navigate this tight market.

Ron Restaino