The Birschbach Team...Your Family Real Estate Consultants

Moving Moving Moving…..SOLD!

If you’re out shopping for a home this weekend, be prepared to act fast.

There may still be ice on the ground in much of the Wisconsin, but the spring housing market is the hottest it’s been in a decade. Consumer sentiment in both the economy and the housing market is rising and that is translating into strong demand from home buyers. The trouble is, the supply of homes for sale is incredibly low and growing at a slow trickle. What is for sale is selling fast.

The typical home that has sold since the beginning of the year went under contract in less than 60 days, ten days faster than one year ago, according to Multiple Listing Service (Southwestern Wis)MLS Data. Nearly 15 percent of all homes listed for sale in February were off the market within two weeks, over 11 percent from last year.

Residential Listings (Including Condos)
Year                            2017            2016          2015           2014           2013           2012            2011
# New Listings            688               785           765              712              792             844               751
# Sales                        355               340           346             327              330            240               197
Average Sale Price  291,054        271,044   248,685     225,985      218,437     221,986     223,042
Median Sale Price  249,900        229,500   216,250     197,000     197,000      191,337      198,500
Active Listings (EOM)   989          1,397           1,802          2,243        2,650         3,494          3,770
Sales reported as of March 13, 2017

The speed and the competition are combining to push home prices higher. In some parts of Dane County we are experiencing a 7 percent annual jump in median sale prices in February. Homeowners now have a lot of equity. In fact, total home equity hit a new peak at the end of last year, according to research by the Federal Reserve.

“While great for homeowners, continuously strong price growth across the U.S. since 2012 has posed significant challenges for first-time home buyers, especially given such low supply in affordable price-tiers. However, there is a good possibility with the increase in interest rates, homeowners who have been delaying their decision to move up may now make the jump, which could add much-needed starter-home inventory to the market.

More homeowners think now is a good time to sell, according to the latest housing sentiment survey from Fannie Mae. More also consider now to be a good time to buy as well, but the same is not true for renters. Confidence in home buying is slipping among renters as affordability sinks.

“Inventory conditions are even worse than a year ago, and home prices and mortgage rates are on an uphill climb,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. “These factors are giving many renter households a pause about it being a good time to buy, even as their job prospects improve and wages grow. Unless there’s a significant boost in supply levels this spring, these constraints will, unfortunately, slow or delay some prospective buyers’ pursuit of purchasing a home.”

Regionally, Seattle was the fastest market in February, according to Redfin, with nearly half of all homes going under contract in just 12 days. Oakland, California, and Denver followed with 15 and 18 days on the market, followed by San Jose, California, (21) and San Francisco (28). The majority of those homes sold above list price.