Home sales in south central Wisconsin dropped 15 percent between 2021 and 2022, according to a new report. 

The Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin reports total home sales in the region fell from 18,546 to 15,765 over the year. While sales numbers for January through June were roughly in line with comparable figures from 2020 and 2021, they began to drop off more in the second half of last year. 

The number of homes sold in December was just 943, down from around 1,500 for the same month in the two prior years, the report shows. 

“Many agents report that the reduction in sales activity correlates to the 12.7% drop in new listings as sellers delay putting their homes on the market,” report authors wrote. 

Meanwhile, the 18-county region’s median home price rose 10.9 percent in 2022, according to the report. After briefly exceeding $400,000 earlier in the year, the median price for Dane County fell to around $350,000 closer to the end of 2022. Home prices in the county had been steadily increasing for the past 10 years, according to the report.

Report authors note the market remains “hypersensitive” to changes in mortgage rates, as buyer demand changes dramatically following relatively small rate changes. 

“Over the last few weeks latent demand has been on display with buyers jumping in and out of the market as rates move and affect their purchasing power,” they wrote. 

The association predicts the housing market will “likely remain at more sustainable sales and price increase activity” throughout this year as it stabilizes following pandemic ripple effects. Its report notes higher interest rates aimed at slowing inflation have helped to “slow the significant appreciation” in home prices. 

“As we look forward, stabilizing interest rates will be vital to create confidence for buyers and sellers in a balanced market,” report authors wrote. “Conversations surrounding solutions to tight inventory and lack of affordability will continue as private and public entities work to find solutions to issues decades in the making.” 

See the full report: https://www.wisbusiness.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/230120RASCW.pdf 

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