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House sales down in March in metro Milwaukee

In another sign of a slowing housing market, the number of homes sold in the metropolitan Milwaukee area was down from the same month a year ago.

Just over 1,400 homes were sold in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties in March this year, according to figures reported on Thursday by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. That was down from the 1,657 sold in March 2018, a decrease of 15.4%.

Of the houses sold in the four counties in March, 73% went for less than $300,000. Of those, about 66% were sold within two days of being put on the market.

The decline was one more sign that the market slowdown that began in May last year has yet to end. If the first quarter of the year is looked at as a whole, sales down were down in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties by 7.6% from the same period of 2018.

The first quarter of 2019 was in fact the weakest for home sales since the first quarter of 2016. Even so, it was the third strongest quarter seen in the past decade – a fact showing how hot the housing market has been in recent years.

According to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, some brokers are concerned that recent apartment construction might be taking resources away from the building of new houses. According to seasonally adjusted figures, there was 3.2 months’ worth of housing supply on the market in March. That was down from 3.5 months in March 2018.

In the first quarter, the average price of houses sold in the four counties was $271,159. That was up from $270,079 in the first quarter of 2018.

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