NewsLocal News


Housing shortage leads to rise in prices; stiff competition in Milwaukee County

Posted at 5:21 PM, May 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-14 18:42:44-04

MILWAUKEE — While some homebuyer competition is normal, local Realtors say that competition reached new heights with so many people battling for so few available properties.

"Trying to buy a house in this market is extremely stressful," said Tara Harwood.

A Milwaukee mom, Harwood says she's been trying for months now to find the perfect home for her and her son.

"It's breaking my heart as a mom that I am living in an apartment," said Harwood.

Poster image - 2021-05-14T173846.713.jpg

She says rising prices and stiff competition is challenging.

"Going to house showings, there were people before me, people lined up after me. People are putting in escalations clauses, going up every $5,000," said Harwood.

Unfortunately, Shorewood West Realtor Sarah Leinweber says that's the harsh reality of homebuying at the moment. Inventory is down, but demand is up.

Data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors shows listings in Wisconsin are down 37% - while prices of a home, and the number of sales, are up. She says it's a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic, low-interest rates, and millennials hitting the prime homebuying age.

Poster image - 2021-05-14T173913.185.jpg

"The market has been strong in Milwaukee for several years, so this isn't new. But this level of intensity is," said Leinweber.

Homes are selling faster than this time last year. In March of 2020, homes sold in an average of four months. In March of 2021, home sales last just over two months.

"I think this is something that we're going to have to be prepared to manage for the foreseeable future," said Leinweber.

That's why Leinweber says if you are planning to buy a home right now, the best thing you can do is make sure you have a Realtor and secure a lender as soon as possible to help you get through this difficult time.

Report a typo or error // Submit a news tip