As welcome the new year, Walworth County real estate is poised to continue the strength exhibited over the past 24 months.
While certain segments of the market are still below the 2008 level there has been substantial recovery in many segments. That is primarily the function of over zealous pricing during that time frame. Sales of single family homes increased from 1702 in 2015 to 1786 in 2016. My feeling is that lack of affordable inventory held back sales. Price gains continued from 2015 median of $175,050 to $182,500 a healthy gain of 6.7%.
Listings decreased year over year causing the drop in sales, although listings did increase in December 12.5%. Overall the primary driver of new home purchases remains strong, jobs, jobs, jobs. Not only jobs in southern Wisconsin but Illinois as well. Illinois buyers in the 200k- 300k remain very motivated, taxes seem to be a major reason. The lakefront market remains consistent in listings and sales and buyers seem to be a bit more selective when spending millions of dollars. There are many smaller lakes in the area that offer wonderful values however and those seem to be gaining in attractiveness as the pricing on the larger lakes becomes more expensive.
Interest rates moved up post election by about 50 basis points and seems to be getting fence sitters off the fence so to speak. Most economists predict that the increase in employment will offset those rate increases to provide 2017 with another 5-6% sales increase over 2016. We are also seeing an uptick in new construction, based I feel on lack of inventory of existing homes and the price differential between new and existing coming back to a more normal equilibrium. Fairwyn builds custom homes from the $400,000 level into the multi-million dollar range around the lakes area.
We at Fairwyn are looking forward to another successful year of assisting buyers and sellers search out that new home or sell their existing one. If we may answer and questions please feel free to email or call and we will be happy to assist you.