At the height of summer, we're finally beginning to move beyond comparisons to the 2010 incentive market. Even so, sudden changes in sales volumes are likely due to factors occurring at this time last year. Qualified buyers may find more attractive opportunities now than during either of the recent tax credits. Interest rates should hold their ground around five percent, though the shift in the federal credit rating could change that. Some indicators suggest improving conditions, but let's see just how we're faring locally.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 8.0 percent to 2,059. Pending Sales were up 16.4 percent to 939. Inventory levels shrank 3.1 percent to 11,789 units, but consumers are still finding terrific opportunities. Strong affordability is partly driving purchase demand.
Prices softened a bit. The Median Sales Price declined 7.8 percent to $175,000. Days on Market increased 20.2 percent to 109 days. Absorption rates slowed as Months Supply of Inventory was up 19.5 percent to 13.2 months.
Second quarter GDP growth was just 1.3 percent after a meager 0.4 percent gain in the first quarter. We added 117,000 new jobs in July, a stronger gain than expected after an embarrassing June. Even though a budget deal has been reached, several challenges persist. Changes to Fannie, Freddie and the mortgage interest deduction are still in play. As consumers absorb distressed inventory and labor market conditions improve, the wheels of recovery grind on.
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