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2020 Housing Market in Wisconsin Sets Records with More Than 88,000 Homes Sold


The housing market it in Wisconsin overcame a slow start in 2020.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association says home sales broke records last year. The WRA released its year-end report Monday.

January and February start off on a good note, but the market took a downward turn in March when the recession hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May, June, July and August we sell about 43% of homes in a typical year. So the lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time. So on that we were down 3.7% for the first six months of this year compared to the first six months of last year,” said Dave Clark. Clark is a consultant to the WRA and a professor of economics at Marquette University.

But by August, house sales and prices were up and kept going up with December finishing strong.

For all of 2020, existing home sales rose 7.3% with 88,685 homes sold. That’s the highest annual sales amount recorded in Wisconsin since WRA starting tracking in 2005.

“The other side of the picture is that prices have gone up significant pace. Prices are up 2020, they’re up 11.4% compared to where they were in 2019,” said Clark.

Northern Wisconsin saw the largest growth with sales up 14.7%.

Clark expects house prices continue to rise. The supply of existing homes currently for sale is nearly half of what is usually is.

He also expects mortgage rates to rise since they’re at historically low numbers right now.

“Unfortunately, we’re going to see affordability start to slip, at least until inventories stabilize. Hopefully that will happen over the course of the next year or two but it will take a while,” said Clark.

In the Northwoods, home prices are up 5.5% with sales up nearly 29%.

Inventory is down 53% and the time a house spends on the market is down 15%.

These percentages are for 2020 numbers compared to 2019.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.