Just about every American was affected by the 2008 sub-prime mortgage collapse; those who didn’t experience effects directly, almost certainly have family members, friends, or acquaintances who did. Across the nation, homeowners with less-than-perfect credit were sold mortgages with low, adjustable rates that allowed borrowers to renegotiate terms in a rising market, but locked homeowners not enjoying the benefit of steadily increasing prices into monthly payments they couldn’t afford, once teaser rates and payments ended.
Wisconsin real estate, like many others markets in the country, was hit hard by the downdraft in house prices and resulting wave of foreclosures. 2016 was the first year that home prices in Wisconsin regained pre-2008 levels. In 2007, the median sale price of homes in the midwestern state was $162,900. By 2011, prices fell to a median low of $132,000, a drop of close to 20 percent. Even by 2015, prices had only rebounded to $155,900. Finally, in 2016, home prices in state on the western shore of Lake Michigan surpassed 2007 levels, being reported as $165,000.
2016 Marks Banner Year For Midwestern Home Sales
The number of real estate transactions occurring in the state followed similar trends. In 2007, 67,756 homes were sold in Wisconsin, a number that plummeted to 51,630 in 2010, proceeding the low in prices by one year. Similarly, the number of real estate sales in the state hit new high ground three year before average sale prices did, in 2013: that year, 69,744 homes were sold, with the largest jump in numbers of transaction taking place between March and September.
Following the election of President-elect Donald Trump in November 2016, a sharp spike in the number of home sales in Wisconsin was observed: 5,367 compared with 4,845 in November 2015. On a month-over-month basis, the number of homes sold rose by 4.8 percent from November 2015 to December 2015. During the same months in 2016, the number of transactions increased from 4,866 to 5,367, or 10.3 percent, more than twice the rate of growth.
Realtors Association Calls Growth In Price, Number Of Transactions ‘Robust’
In every year, since 2007, those selling homes in Wisconsin have received the highest prices when deals were completed in the month of July, which tied levels of $140,000 in June and August 2011. Counties that saw less than 10 real estate transaction in a month are not included in data, provided by the Wisconsin Realtors Association, leaving the possibility of bargains being picked up by astute buyers, as well as sellers receiving top dollar, in under-reported locales.
The WRA described the November-2016 surge in house prices as a characteristic of the state’s “robust” market for housing. The association reports that over the course of January to November 2016, median home prices increased by 5.4 percent, compared with 2015, and that the number of transactions completed was up by 5.9 percent. November 2016 saw a record-setting pace of home sales for the month. Real estate inventories were described as “very low.”