Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Mke-Area RE Prices: Counter to National

We've mentioned that the Case-Shiller index of home prices dropped by 18% last year.

But not Milwaukee-area prices, according to this article.

Bucking the national trend during the recession and housing market collapse, home prices in the Milwaukee area increased 5.3 percent from October 2007 to October 2008 according to New York-based Radar Logic Inc.'s Monthly Housing Market Report.

Milwaukee was the only one of the nation's 25 largest metro areas to post a year over year increase in home prices, according to the report.

...Homes in the Milwaukee region sold for $116.37 per square foot during October of 2008. Milwaukee per square foot home prices ranked 15th most expensive of the largest 25 metro areas.

...The Milwaukee residential real estate market also performed well in the longer term, according to the report. The area's residential real estate prices increased 3.0 percent over a two year period, which led the top 25 metro areas, and grew 4.2 percent over a five year period, which ranked 4th in the top 25 metro areas.

....Residential real estate sales have dropped dramatically in the Milwaukee area, according to the report, down 30.7 percent in October of 2008 compared to October of 2007. That was the fourth largest decrease of the 25 largest metro areas. The biggest increases in transaction volumes occurred in the Sun Belt, including San Diego, Sacramento and Los Angeles, which have been driven by foreclosure-related sales, according to the report.

Historically, the Milwaukee metro area has seen much less high/low variance in housing prices, not least because Milwaukeeans tend to squeeze nickels very carefully.

At the same time, it is also true that Wisconsin as a whole tends to be "last in, last out" of recessions. Thus, the acid test for home prices will happen in the next 2 years.

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