FILE - House for sale, property taxes, homeowner

(The Center Square) – The latest snapshot of Wisconsin’s housing market isn’t all that great, although realtors say there are signs things are improving.

The Wisconsin Realtors released their April 2023 report on Thursday, and it shows that both sales and home inventories are down, while prices are up.

“Home prices are still going up but at a slower pace than last year. In fact, the median price of Wisconsin homes sold in 2022 was 10.4% higher than 2021 median prices,” Wisconsin Realtors Association President and CEO Michael Theo said. “In contrast, the housing price appreciation rate for the first four months of 2023 was only 7% higher than the first four months of 2022, suggesting demand pressure is easing.”

Prices are up 6.8% in the April report, while monthly home sales are down 32.5%, and statewide listings are down 20.7%.

WRA board chairman Joe Horning said higher mortgage rates are keeping inventories low.

“One reason housing inventory is so low is that current homeowners thinking about buying another home are likely sitting on very favorable mortgage rates, especially if they refinanced over the last couple of years. Rates have more than doubled since hitting bottom at the end of 2020, and homeowners may be reluctant to give up those record-low rates to buy another home, Horning explained.

The Realtors say just over 21,000 homes have been sold so far this year, most of them in the southeastern corner of the state.

The Madison area in the south-central part of the state has the highest median price in the state at $340,000.

“Given the average pace of sales over the last 12 months, we would need 20,978 additional homes available for sale to get to a balanced market. This represents an increase of 138% from the April total statewide inventory of 15,167 homes,” the Realtors report said. “Even with higher incomes over the past year, the combination of higher home prices and higher mortgage rates caused housing affordability to fall 13.7%.”