Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The real estate market picked back up in July after months of slumping sales because of the coronavirus pandemic, as Wisconsin recorded a record number of sales of existing homes last month.
Sales of existing homes were up 7.6% in July, according to the most recent analysis from the Wisconsin Realtors Association. The median price of existing homes sold last month was $226,400, the statewide analysis said.
The 9,649 homes sold in July marked a new record for monthly sales since the WRA established its data collection methods in 2005. The previous record, set last year, was 8,969.
“What makes this record even more impressive is that it happened in an environment of extraordinarily tight inventories,” said WRA Chairman Steve Beers. “We’ve been in a seller’s market for almost three years.”
The big sales month has made up for some of the losses in sales during the spring and early summer. For the first seven months of the year, sales are down 1.9% from the same time in 2019.
One reason home sales are up is that mortgage rates are at record lows, said Michael Theo, WRA President and CEO. The 30-year-fixed mortgage rate was 3.02% in July 2020, whereas it was 3.77% a year ago.
“We can’t expect record sales every month especially given the supply crunch, but these record-low mortgage rates will fuel the demand side for the late summer and fall sales season,” Theo said.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association represents more than 16,400 real estate brokers, salespeople and affiliates statewide.
Sarah Hauer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @HauerSarah and Twitter @SarahHauer. Subscribe to her weekly newsletter Be MKE at jsonline.com/bemke.