Homeownership is about painting a room fluorescent fuchsia without asking anyone's permission. The recent market challenges have forced some homeowners to become begrudging renters or unintentional landlords. For the nation as a whole, the National Association of REALTORS® reports that the homeownership rate has shifted from 69.0 percent in 2005 to 66.5 percent so far in 2011. While that's not a tectonic shift, let's see what other indicators reveal since that first fateful month after the 2010 tax credit.
New Listings in the Milwaukee region increased 15.2 percent to 2,569. Pending Sales were down 21.7 percent to 879. Inventory levels shrank 0.2 percent to 11,793 units, but there are still plenty of great choices out there.
Prices couldn't match year-ago levels. The Median Sales Price declined 4.8 percent to $169,000. Days on Market increased 13.6 percent to 112 days. The rate of inventory absorption slowed as Months Supply of Inventory was up 40.5 percent to 13.8 months. Affordability also improved.
Nationally, the interest rate dropped to 4.88 percent on a 30-year fixed conventional while the unemployment rate snuck up to 9.1 percent in May. The economy added 54,000 jobs, which was far less than April and insufficient to curb unemployment. As recovery goes, so goes positive trends. Some indicators should start to show favorable movement, but stronger job growth is needed to fuel housing demand and reinforce consumer confidence.
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