Economy Sliding, But Home Purchase Costs Rising: WRA

May 21, 2020

Credit Pixabay.com TierraMallorca

As Wisconsin moved into the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economy fell in April, an odd thing happened in the real estate market: home prices rose.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association releases monthly sales and price numbers. Consulting economist David Clark says existing home sales fell nearly seven percent in April, compared to April 2019. Realtors expected with the economy slumping the market would fall. But Clark says tightening numbers of homes for sale drove the median price up about 7 percent over the past year.

He says the tight inventory won out...

"While there's a balancing act here, it looks like the 'supply effect', the significant reduction in the number of homes for sale continued to put upward pressure on prices...."

Clark says the peak sales times are May through August so the slumping economy will likely lead to a slower summer sales time. But if buyers are interested and can find a property, it's a good time to finance...

"This is about the best time in the last 50 years to get a mortgage. Mortgage rates dropped to the lowest levels since we started tracking 30-year fixed rate mortgage data back in 1971..."

Current mortgage rates are around three percent. In the Northwoods through April 20, median prices rose 9 percent and sales were off about 3 percent , central Wisconsin saw prices rise about 4 percent and sales were about the same as a year ago.