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Home sales slump, inventories tighten in April

After seeing a strong first quarter in 2017, existing home sales in Wisconsin weakened in April, according to an analysis from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The analysis found that the number of closed sales dropped 10.7 percent in April below what they were in the same month last year.

The only region to see a slight increase in sales last month was the state’s central region, where the increase was of 0.9 percent. Sales in the southeast region dropped 5.8 percent, and fell 11.8 percent in the south central region.

Moreover, there is now only about 5.3 months’ worth of housing supply statewide, continuing a trend going back at least two years. More than 50,200 available homes were on the market in Wisconsin in April of 2015, for instance. That number fell to around 43,500 homes in April 2016, and further fell to fewer than 36,200 last month.

The consistent drop of housing inventory levels is indicative of a seller’s market, the analysis pointed out.

Strong demand from prospective homebuyers, coupled with tightening supplies, has led to higher price tags. Market prices increased 6.9 percent between April 2016 and last month, the analysis found.

“When demand conditions are strong, and supply is limited, something has got to give to relieve that pressure, and that something is the price,” Michael Theo, WRA president and chief executive officer, said in a news release. “With so many buyers chasing so few homes, homes don’t stay on the market very long.”

About Alex Zank, alex.zank@dailyreporter.com

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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