With spring here in all its bounty, it's time to renew, refresh and revive our understanding of what's fueling the ongoing market recovery. First, tightened inventory levels combined with strong demand are fueling price gains in many areas. Second, consumer demand is shifting from distressed properties to conventional homes. Third, record-low mortgage rates and rising rents are supporting housing recovery. Let's check the local scene.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region decreased 13.9 percent to 2,248. Pending Sales were down 30.3 percent to 1,020. Inventory levels shrank 19.9 percent to 7,507 units.
Prices moved higher. The Median Sales Price increased 9.3 percent to $165,000. Days on Market was down 10.1 percent to 106 days. Absorption rates improved as Months Supply of Inventory was down 30.6 percent to 6.1 months.
On the economic front, things inched forward. We saw a minor but important upward revision to Q4-2012 GDP growth that put us back in positive territory. In the political arena, key debates over the deficit, marriage, gun law, immigration reform and tax policy rage onward. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, and with this emerging housing recovery, there are no imminent housing-related bills. Perhaps that's a good thing.
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