More homes for sale, interest rates below 7%. What Green Bay area homebuyers should know – AOL

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June 24, 2024 at 6:04 AM

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GREEN BAY — Green Bay area home sales declined slightly in May, but year-to-date sales remain well ahead of last year’s pace as buyers enjoy some relief from recent challenging market conditions.

Brown County existing home sales decreased from 270 in May 2023 to 265 last month, a 1.9 drop, according to monthly housing market data released Thursday by Wisconsin Realtors Association. For comparison, statewide home sales increased 11% to 6,566 last month while year-to-date statewide home sales have increased 12.1% to 23,849 through May.

There have been 1,008 existing homes sold through the first five months of 2024, up 8.4% compared to the same period in 2024. Brown County sales continue to improve yet remain well behind the pace in 2021 and 2022 when more than 1,200 existing homes were sold in the first five months of the year.

A home for sale on Green Bay's west side in September 2023.
A home for sale on Green Bay’s west side in September 2023.

“While there (were) certainly some headwinds in this market with average mortgage rates topping 7% in May, it is good to see ongoing sales growth as we enter the peak season for home sales,” said Mary Jo Bowe, chair of WRA’s board of directors, in a media release.

Northeastern Wisconsin home sales overall have increased 16% so far in 2024 and WRA’s market data offers some good news for buyers beleaguered by high interest rates and low inventory last year. There’s even some good news for sellers on sales prices, though buyers might not like it as much.

Here’s what to like about the Green Bay area housing market as the Wisconsin housing market’s busy season continues into summer.

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Green Bay and Appleton area home buyers will find more homes on the market

The uptick in sales this year has been fueled by an increase in inventory that continued in May.

Inventory is measured in months and is calculated by dividing the number of homes on the market by the average number of existing homes sold in a month. Real estate agents and Realtors use it to gauge whether a market favors buyers (more than 6 months), favors sellers (less than 6 months) or is balanced (right at 6 months).

Brown County’s inventory increased 23.1% to 3.2 months in May. Outagamie County’s inventory lagged that of its neighbor to the east, but still increased 9.1% to 2.4 months in May.

“The good news is that supply has been improving since late last year, which has moderated the rate of price appreciation,” WRA CEO Tom Larson said in a media release.

Tyler Jedwabny, a broker and coach at Coldwell Banker the Real Estate Group’s Green Bay office, said inventory has improved overall, but that markets like Green Bay and Appleton still have a shortage of homes at prices most families would consider affordable. Think below $350,000 or $400,000.

“The numbers are encouraging, but what doesn’t get talked about is the demand, the people looking to buy. They’re still out there,” Jedwabny said.

A home for sale on Green Bay's west side in September 2023.A home for sale on Green Bay's west side in September 2023.
A home for sale on Green Bay’s west side in September 2023.

Appleton’s median sales price now tops Green Bay’s median price

The Brown County median sales price first hit $300,000 in April 2022 whereas Outagamie County’s median sales price first topped $300,000 in March of this year.

Now, two months later, Outagamie County’s median sale price is higher than Brown County’s.

Sales have increased this year at a slower pace in Brown County and the median sales price only increased 0.1% in May to $310,444.

In contrast, Outagamie County’s existing home sales increased by more than 20% in May and the median sales price increased 12.1% to $314,900.

Jedwabny said sellers might be lured into selling by the increasing median sale prices, but he said it’s “important “paramount right now” for sellers to remember to price their homes right to maximize the sale price. He said in the week ended June 21, 31 homes for sale in Brown County changed their prices, according to data The Real Estate Group tracks.

Mortgage interest rates have dropped below 7%

Besides price and inventory, the other key indicator homebuyers have been watching are the ups and downs of mortgage interest rates.

The 15-year and 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates hit recent peaks of 7.03% and 7.79% respectively in November 2023 before dropping below 7% to start 2024. But the 30-year rate climbed back above 7% in April and remained there until the start of June. This month, the 30-year rate has dropped for three straight weeks now.

As of June 20, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.13% while the 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 6.87%, according to Freddy Mac’s weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

Home for saleHome for sale
Home for sale

In spite of the good news for buyers, affordability remains a struggle

Median purchase prices continue to increase which means buyers continue to pay more for homes on the market. More homes for sale can spread the competition out a bit, but it so far has not helped soften median prices. As buyers have to pay more for homes and financing costs remain higher, Larson said affordability remains a major issue.

“This is a tough environment for buyers given the high mortgage rates and limited supply of available homes on the market,” Larson said. “We have tracked Wisconsin’s affordability level since 2009, and unfortunately affordability hit its all-time low point in May.”

Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or[email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffBollier.

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay housing market improves for home buyers. What to know

This post was originally published on 3rd party site mentioned in the title of this site

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