Flex Quick Tip
February 13, 2012
January Market Reports


Five years past the bubble and its aftermath, housing data is as important as it ever has been. The numbers don't lie, but they can be used to corroborate almost any hypothesis. Several trends are as close to irrefutable as they can get, including declining supply, stabilizing demand and a shifting balance. The most obvious indicator is sales price, which reflect yesterday's closings rather than tomorrow's transactions. As such, they can be misleading. As we delve into a new year, let's see if the first month of the sixth year brought any encouraging signs.

New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 72.4 percent to 550. Pending Sales were down 80.7 percent to 128. Inventory levels shrank 13.8 percent to 8,632 units.

Prices softened somewhat. The Median Sales Price decreased 2.7 percent to $159,750. Days on Market was up 10.5 percent to 125 days. Absorption rates improved as Months Supply of Inventory was down 10.9 percent to 9.3 months.

We get it. Banks abandoned some tried-and-true lending standards during the boom years, and now we're paying the price. Demonizing lenders isn't a productive exercise, but a gentle nudge of encouragement to resume lending to qualified and responsible buyers is in order. Recovery won't come without consumer participation, and securing a loan can be overly difficult, which is a drag on the everyday business of buying and selling homes.

All data for the market reports comes from the Multiple Listing Service, Inc. and is powered by 10K Research and Marketing. You can follow this link: http://www.metromls.com/support/Market_Updates/index.html or visit www.metromls.com.

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