Greater Milwaukee housing market; realtors on what to know

There is no place like home, and right now, it can be tough to get one.

The Milwaukee region saw the highest number of sales ever in 2021, according to the president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. Still, prospective buyers may be more likely to see "SOLD" signs than "FOR SALE" signs.

"I was shocked," Valerie Richards said. "We lost count after a while."

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Valerie and Mike Richards had more than a dozen offers for their Franklin home in a matter of a few days.

"I was surprised at the price. They were well above list, every single one," said Mike.

Homestead Realty

For real estate brokers, it's not surprising.

"COVID really, really made things crazy," said Mike Borowski, owner of and broker with Homestead Realty. "When working with buyers, it’s extremely difficult and cutthroat."

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Real estate brokers like Mike and Nicole Borowski are often seeing houses sell for 15-20% above asking price.

"There are some buyers who are very frustrated, some who have given up. The challenging thing is that rent is also not going down," said Nicole.

"We have just a ton of millennial buyers," said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

Trends seen around the nation were discussed at the Wisconsin Real Estate Summit in Milwaukee earlier this week.

"We’ll hopefully come away with some directions to improve the market and get more houses built," Ruzicka said.

Mike Ruzicka

Real estate brokers say there may be more wiggle room in the market soon.

"I’m thinking this market will end up softening in July probably mid-June," said Mike Borowski.

At the same time, interest rates are going up. At the end of the day, when to buy all depends on the person putting in the officer.

"You can’t time the market, and when it’s time to buy in your life – that’s when you should buy," Ruzicka said.

More to know

Nicole Borowski said it may help to put an officer in on a house that has been on the market for a week or two, since new listings get the most interest, and working with realtors to put in the best offer possible.

More than half of homes in the Milwaukee area sold above asking price in 2021, according to a Redfin analysis.

Zillow lists the typical home value in Milwaukee at about $170,000 compared to about $330,000 nationally.

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