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  • 9 Dec 2020 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    The area housing market is starting to see some changes... and it's for the better.

    America's economy is reeling, but realtor Dan Ludwig says people are still buying homes.

    "Demand. Absolutely demand," said Ludwig.

    The Wisconsin Realtors Associations says May home sales slid almost 25% from 2019. Sales rebounded in June to just a 4.5% dip.

    Realtors Association consultant David Clark says there are a few reasons why.

    "We were still very pleasantly surprised., given a lot of the sales closed in June of this year were based on contracts accepted during the point in time the economy was basically on lock down," said Clark, "mortgage rates are at historical lows. In the last three months April, May and June we recorded new record lows each of those months."

    Ludwig says living and working from smaller spaces is also a contributing factor.

    "People are understanding that going through this COVID, I want a house. If I'm going to be isolated I want to be isolated in a house," said Ludwig.

    Realtors are also seeing a new generation of buyers.

    "We're looking at a lot of millennials right now who are purchasing these homes," said Ludwig.

    "There has been a move of millenials into owner occupied housing," said Clark, "they have started making that shift and that will continue to fuel the demand."

    Buyers are also willing to pay more. Median prices are up by 3.6% from last year.

    Ludwig said, "real estate is all about supply and demand and whenever you have more demand than supply the price is going to go up."

    "The market can be characterized as a strong seller's market," said Clark, "the demand side has bounced back pretty well."

    A sellers market, because there are plenty of people ready to bid on their next home sweet home.


    Source: Fox 11 Online

  • 7 Dec 2020 4:00 PM | Anonymous

    WiscoREIA December Newsletter is Out!

    Download link: WiscoREIA December Newsletter


    October to November Market Updates:

    GREEN BAY

    Median Sale Price:

    • Increased from $139,950 in October of 2019 to $174,900 in October of 2020.

    Months Supply of Inventory:

    • Decreased from 3.76 in October of 2019 to 3.1 in October of 2020.

    New Listings:

    • Decreased from 127 in October of 2019 to 113 in October of 2020.

    Pending Listings:

    • Increased from 118 in October of 2019 to 129 in October of 2020.

    Closed Listings:

    • Increased from 120 in October of 2019 to 134 in October of 2020.



    APPLETON

    Median Sale Price:

    • Increased from $166,900 in October of 2019 to $183,000 in October of 2020.

    Months Supply of Inventory:

    • Increased from 3.3 in October of 2019 to 3.58 in October of 2020.

    New Listings:

    • Increased from 91 in October of 2019 to 98 in October of 2020.

    Pending Listings:

    • Increased from 69 in October of 2019 to 88 in October of 2020.

    Closed Listings:

    • Increased from 67 in October of 2019 to 92 in October of 2020.



    KENOSHA

    Median Sale Price:

    • Increased from $200,900 in November of 2019 to $221,000 in November of 2020.

    New Listings:

    • Decreased from 161 in November of 2019 to 159 in November of 2020.

    Pending Listings:

    • Decreased from 122 in November of 2019 to 54 in November of 2020.

    Sold Listings:

    • Increased from 157 in November of 2019 to 193 in November of 2020.


    EAU CLAIRE

    Median List Price:

    • $254,836

    Pending Listings:

    • 11 units.

    Sold Listings:

    • 238 units.


    WAUSAU

    Median List Price:

    • $180,649

    Median Sale Price:

    • $177,566

    Sold Listings:

    • 76 units.
  • 7 Dec 2020 8:00 AM | Anonymous

    October 2020 Home Sales Report

    Downloadable October 2020 Home Sales Data - WisconsinHousingData-Oct2020

    Wisconsin Housing Statistics - Wisconsin Housing Data


    WiscoREIA  Fueled by record-low mortgage rates, Wisconsin’s existing home market saw another sharp increase in sales and prices in October, according to the most recent monthly analysis conducted by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). For the seventh straight month, mortgage rates fell into record-low territory, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropping to 2.83% in October. As a result, existing home sales increased 24.9% in October 2020 compared to October 2019, and the median price increased 16.3% to $227,324 over that same 12-month period. On a year-to-date basis, home sales are up 4.5% relative to the sales in the first 10 months of 2019, and the median price rose to $220,000, which is an increase of 11.1% compared to the January-through-October period of 2019. 

    “There’s no doubt that these record-low mortgage rates are a big reason our strong sales and growth were robust in every region of the state,” said WRA Chairman Steve Beers. Home sales increased by double-digit margins in all regions, with closed sales up between 13.6% and 17.3% in the Central, Northeast and West regions. More robust sales growth was seen in the Southeast region, up 25.2%; the South Central region, up 35.2%; and the North, up 42.1%. “We would have sold even more homes if the supply was there,” said Beers. Six months of available inventory is considered to be balanced, with inventory levels below that benchmark considered a seller’s market. Every region in the state was well below the six-month level, with the North region having the most supply at 4.4 months and the South Central region the lowest at three months of available supply. Unfortunately, months of supply declined in every region over the last 12 months. 

    “With demand pressure so strong, buyers are moving quickly, which means homes aren’t on the market very long,” said WRA President & CEO Michael Theo. Average days on the market (DOM) follows a regular seasonal pattern, typically falling through the summer and then peaking in the winter months. Still, comparing the same month last year, DOM fell 8.8% to just 83 days statewide. In contrast, just five years ago, the October DOM peaked at 134 days, or 38.1% longer than today.

    “This hot market continues to push home prices up with price appreciation in the double digits since July,” said Theo. The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index shows the fraction of the median-priced home that a buyer with median household income qualifies to purchase, assuming 20% down and the remaining balance financed at current rates with a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The index fell to 199, a drop of 6.5% from October 2019. The loss in affordability would have been significantly worse had mortgage rates not dropped by nearly 1%, or down 86 basis points, over the last 12 months. “Despite our increasing prices, Wisconsin housing remains affordable compared to the national average,” said Theo. The National Association of REALTORS® reports that the national index stood at 159.6 in September, whereas the Wisconsin index was 194.8 for that same month.

    “Following the wild swings in real GDP in the previous two quarters, the expectation is that the economy will once again settle into a pattern of solid growth with low inflation for 2021,” said David Clark, Marquette University economist and consultant to the WRA. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank conducts the Survey of Professional Forecasters, which includes economists from business, consulting firms and academia. The latest survey projects real GDP growth of 4% and inflation of 2% for 2021. “Clearly there remains uncertainty but the prospect of an effective COVID-19 vaccine should lead to sustained growth over the foreseeable future,” said Clark.

    “As we move into the winter months, buyers should remember that this can be a good time to buy as competition and prices tend to moderate,” said Theo. He points out that this continues to be a great time to buy a home. “Mortgage rates are at historic lows, which translates into lower monthly payments,” said Theo. As the economy returns to a sustained growth path, mortgage rates will likely bottom out. “Working with a REALTOR® maximizes your likelihood of success in this hot market,” he said.

    Source: Wisconsin Realtors Association

  • 7 Dec 2020 7:30 AM | Anonymous

    'The pandemic has not slowed demand one bit' in Wisconsin's housing market

    Elizabeth Duthie has been thinking about buying her first home for years. 

    At the beginning of September, Duthie saw a place she loved online so she called a real estate agent.  

    "It was no longer on the market," Duthie said. 

    Duthie, a 38-year-old researcher in the Center for Urban Population Health at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, was shopping in the perpetually hot market for houses priced under $250,000. 

    That market, in metro Milwaukee and across Wisconsin, has remained strong into fall.

    Unlike the typical pattern of a busy spring and summer, Milwaukee's real estate market started to warm up late this summer and has yet to cool off.  In a typical year, sales tend to drop as temperatures fall.

    Duthie's real estate agent, Beth Jaworski with Shorewest Realtors, said many of her clients are deciding to go forward with long-anticipated moves

    "The pandemic has not slowed demand one bit," she said. "The problem is lack of inventory. We've had lack of inventory for a few years. It was just really made worse with the pandemic." 

    The metropolitan Milwaukee housing market is making up for time lost this spring during the state's stay-at-home order. Sales in the four-county area were up 28.2% in September compared to the same time last year, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. 

    The hot market exists across the Badger State, not just in southeastern Wisconsin. 

    “It’s super-bonkers for us in central,” said Paula Hall, executive director of the Central Wisconsin Board of Realtors. “Green Bay has always had a relatively hot market. For us to be as busy, crazy as it is, is a little strange for us. We tend to be middle of the road, middle of the state.”

    Real estate agents, moving companies and industry officials say there’s nothing soft about the current housing market, calling it “busy,” “crazy” and “completely insane.”

    They attribute their very busy summer and fall to three things: a shortage of homes for sale, 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates below 3% (the rate hit and all-time low of 2.81% on Thursday) and a huge volume of requests to refinance existing mortgages. 

    The result: Finding a right-priced, attractive property is more difficult now than it has been in years. 

    Prices are increasing with strong demand from buyers. The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors said a lack of inventory, especially for properties under $300,000, is pushing up prices. Listings have been down around southeastern Wisconsin. 

    "There is little doubt that 2020 will wind up in much better shape than many had worried about at the beginning of the pandemic," the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors wrote.  

    Duthie plans to close on a three-bedroom Cape Cod-style home in Wauwatosa at the end of the month. Duthie, who has been living in a one-bedroom apartment on Milwaukee's east side, is eager to use a spare bedroom as a dedicated office space. She might adopt a dog, too.


    'Bottlenecked'

    Buyers should anticipate not only needing more time to find the right house, but also more time to complete their purchase once they do.

    Victoria Seehafer is president and owner of Century 21 Aspire Group, which sells properties in the Manitowoc-Two Rivers area.

    Seehafer said it used to be possible to go from accepted offer to closing in about 30 days. Now, with the volume of refinancings happening, Seehafer said an appraisal can take weeks while closing any sale requires a minimum of six weeks. 

    “Everything is very bottlenecked right now because people are refinancing,” Seehafer said. “We (real estate agents) have to juggle the things we didn’t always have to, like appraisals. All those pieces have to fit together. It’s taken a bit of strategy to get dates and deadlines together so they work at the end.”

    Seehafer said title companies in the Manitowoc-Two Rivers area have “handled this really, really well” by hiring extra staff to work through the purchases and refinancings.

    It’s not so easy in other parts of the business. 


    'Unlike anything I've seen'

    Garret Alford, owner of Oshkosh-based Appraisal Professionals LLC, said he can conduct three property visits and complete four appraisal reports in a day, at most. Right now, he’s getting 10 to 15 appraisal orders per day. He said it takes about a month for him to turn around a job right now and said buyers are caught in the middle of a system being overtaxed. 

    “I’m always steady, but I would say this year, due to record low (mortgage) rates, the volume we’re doing is unlike anything I’ve seen before,” Alford said. “You just try to do your best. I’m happy with doing what I can do.”

     The industry has remained busy into September, which has helped businesses like Economy Movers make up for revenue it lost this summer, said Steve Marquardt, general manager for the Green Bay-based company.

    "We've been able to sustain operations," he said. "We had a few guys on partial unemployment and we spread the hours around rather than seeing one guy get 50 hours and another guy get 20 hours. But it wasn't a typical summer where they're working 50-plus hours a week, which had been normal."


    Refinancing requests rise

    Marquardt's crews are a little less busy than bankers, appraisers and inspectors working to keep up with the volume of refinancings occurring  as the interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages has dropped below 3%. 

    The Mortgage Bankers Association’s quarterly finance forecast showed mortgage purchase amounts declined 2% year-over-year in the second quarter, from $355 billion financed in 2019 to $348 billion in 2020. 

    MBA also tracks the number of mortgage applications through a weekly survey that covers 75% of all national mortgage applications. The weekly reports indicate the number of mortgage applications rise and fall from week-to-week, but have increased 28% to 40% compared to the same period in 2019.

    All the while, mortgage refinancing requests continue to become a larger volume of the originations reported each quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2019, 55% of mortgages started were for refinancing. In the second quarter of 2020, that number had risen to 63%, MBA reported.


    Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, written by Sarah Hauer

  • 8 Mar 2019 3:45 PM | Anonymous member

    Ignorance of the law, or even skirting the rules because that’s how it’s always been done can get you every time.  Recently, the SunHearld (Biloxi, Mississippi) reported that several real estate investors in Gulfport were charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for allegedly holding secret meetings to rig bids and allegedly deciding ahead of time who was going to bid on a particular house and how much the others might be paid for not bidding.  The investors claimed it was all happening out in the open and that the attorneys representing the mortgage companies knew what was going on.  Either way, this kind of activity steps up to the legal line at best and crosses it at worst.  Do your due-diligence, be careful, and know the law when participating in foreclosure auctions.

    Attorneys representing mortgage companies at the auctions knew what was going on, and would even ask, “Y’all figured out who’s getting this one today?”

    Read the original article from the SunHerald

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