2019 Year End Housing Statistics
2019 was a strong year for Wisconsin real estate with median prices up statewide 7.3% and 6.3% in Dane County. You may hear national headlines about the real estate market softening, and that is certainly the case in some of the large coastal markets such as Seattle or San Francisco. Locally, things continue to look good for sellers; especially for the lower priced homes. Inventory on homes under $300,000 in Dane County is extremely tight with less than 1 month of inventory. This will likely lead to continued competition among buyers in that price range. Homes priced at $300,000-$350,000 have about 1.2 months of inventory. Homes $350,000+ average out to 2.5 months of inventory with inventory increasing with price range. This will make the higher price ranges a little calmer, but still in the seller’s favor.
Total home sales statewide were right on par with last year, which was down a little over the previous two years. This is still a result of limited inventory. As I mentioned, prices statewide and county wide were up. However, when we start analyzing prices and sales of each community in the area, we start to see variability. Last year almost all of the areas around Dane county were up in price, this year we see 6 of the 18 towns we tracked with reduced median prices. I think this is a little deceiving because most homes would have sold for more in 2019 than 2018. I think this is more a sign that buyers are chasing the more affordable lower priced homes. I don’t want to ignore the fact that this is a big change from the previous year, so it could also be a sign that the market is starting to flatten out. However, all other signs look for it to remain fairly strong.
Two more indicators of the strength of the market are the number of days a home is on the market and the sale price to list price ratio. The average days on market for 2019 was 35 days, and homes sold for 99% of list price on average. These two stats in conjunction with low inventory point to a continued seller’s market.
In summary, if you are a seller, 2020 is still looking like a great time to sell. If you are a buyer expect continued competition in the lower price ranges. However, with interest rates remaining low, affordability continues to be reasonable, so I wouldn’t let the competition prevent you from buying. There are a few indicators that price increases are starting to slow compared to the previous two years. Although, the market it still looking strong, and I’d be surprised to see a drastic sudden shift.