Market Update

April 2017 Market Recap

A lack of supply with strong market demand continues for 2017 in April throughout Dane County. Even with low interest rates, positive job reports, stronger demand from buyers and high consumer confidence ratings, sales of condominiums and single family homes have not reached their potential due to a lack of inventory. Dane County continues to see an active inventory of less than two months, which makes five months in a row now.

Six months of active inventory usually means the market is very balanced between sellers and buyers. However, with only 1,070 active listings at the end of April, the inventory is lower than it has been in Dane County since 1997, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS Report.. April saw 663 sales in Dane County, which was 12% lower than the same month las year when buyers had 35% more listings to choose from.

While listings are down, the monthly median sales price is up. For the 20th time in the last 21 months, the median sales price went up. It's 6.4% higher over the past 12 months and reached $250K.

Active listings continue to be the problem with only 980 new listings in Dane County for April 2017 compared to 1,085 for April 2016 and 1,156 for April 2015. The lack of listings has caused the number of sales to drop, as well.

Now is the time for anybody looking to sell a house or condo to get it listed. Dane County is a seller's market with a lack of inventory causing prices to go up and plenty of properties are getting multiple offers. Buyers are waiting, so don't hesitate if you've been thinking about selling....

March 2017 Market Recap

Sales for both single-family homes and condominiums in Dane County fell 8.7% in March 2017 compared to March 2016. A large portion of the decline in sales is due to lower than normal inventory of active listings, according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS Report.

Monthly medial sales throughout Dane County increased year-over-year for the 19th month out of the last 20. Median sales prices for single-family homes have risen 6% over the past 12 months, while condominium prices have gone up 9.6%.

The lack of active inventory has had an impact on Dane County. March 2017 showed only 1.7 months of active inventory for single family homes and only 1.3 months for condos. For the real estate market to be considered as a balanced market, about six months of active inventory is necessary.

Throughout the rest of spring and into summer, the inventory for existing and new homes and condos will play a large part in whether sales are as high as they can be. Other factors are not having as much of an impact with interest rates up just slightly, the economy improving and the job market providing more stability.

Homeowners looking to sell in Dane County, now is the time. Buyers are ready to make an offer and it's certainly a sellers’ market right now.

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February 2017 Market Recap

February proved to be a strong month for residential home and condo sales in Dane County. In fact, February 2017 was the highest month for home sales in Dane County since 2007 and 4.4% higher than the same month last year.

The month's median sales price also increased year-over-year, which has happened 18 times in the past 19 months.

The active inventory remains as the story for the market because of a significant lack of inventory. Only 688 new listings were reported in Dane County, which is the lowest number since 2002. Total active listings came in at just 989 and it hasn't been that low since 1997.


Only 1.47 months of active inventory are available to buyers. Usually, a balanced market will show about six months of inventory.

Overall, compared to the start of 2016, the real estate market in Dane County is off to a positive start in 2017.

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2016 Market Recap - Record year!!!

While winter is in full effect, often this is a time to reflect on the past year in the real estate market.  Here’s what we learned.  2016 WAS A RECORD YEAR!!! 

review of 2016 real estate market image

Dane county sales for 2016 (single family and condos) were at an ALL TIME HIGH with 8073 sales and median sale price was also at an ALL TIME HIGH OF $245,000.  For comparison, 2005 was the last peak at 7,981 sales for the year, and 2015 was 7,957 sales. 

2016 sales compared to 2015 and 2005 for Dane County

Median sale price has been on the rise, up 5.6% from 2015 ($232,000), and up 16.6% from 2005 ($210,000); all good things for current home owners.

median home values for Dane county

Another noteworthy thing is the continued decline in available inventory for homes.  As you can see we are now under 2 months of inventory for both single family and condominiums.

inventory for available homes in Dane county

Want to talk more about the specific market around your home?  Give us a call or send us a message.  We’d be happy to share our thoughts about the why behind it...

This Month in Real Estate: August 2016

After a sharp drop in home sales in July, according to the South Central Multiple Listings System August sales rebounded. Sales throughout the South central MLS were up for the month and the 854 reported sales are 15.2% more than last year.

2016 sales in Dane county are projecting to reach an estimated 7,824 - making it the third highest year on record. This is behind 2005 with 7,981 sales and 2015 with 7,936. New listings in Dane county were at 877 in August compared to 790 in August 2015. Year to date listings however trail 2015 by 3.5%. Active inventory currently sits at 2.35 months, under the supply in 2015 when it was 3.27 months. Six months of inventory is considered a balanced market.

Mortgage rates continue to stand at historic lows. Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.5%. With job growth the economy continues to improve and expectations are positive. 

Thinking of buying or selling? Now is the time to contact Josh Lavik & Associates! We've helped many clients, whether your looking to upgrade or downsize our team is skilled at navigating you through your transaction with as little stress as possible. Give us a call at 608-620-4234 or contact us!

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This Month in Real Estate: July 2016

According to the South Central Wisconsin MLS active inventories have fallen in all 6 markets. Single family home sales have also fallen in five of the six markets compared to last year. Year-to-date sales however are ahead in one-half of the SCWMLS, but slightly down in Dane County.

There is a strong competition among buyers in the price range under $300,000. The impact of this competition can be easily seen with the year-to-date increases in median prices for both single family homes and condos.

The good news for buyers is that it is a strong economy with historically low interest rates. This helps with affordability even with rising prices. The good news for sellers is that there are buyers waiting for your home. Now is the time to contact Josh Lavik & Associates 608-620-4234 to help you navigate your way through this tricky market. We've helped many buyers and sellers find their dream home!

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This Month in Real Estate: June 2016

The first half of 2016's results are in and home sales in Dane County continue to keep pace with the near record results of 2015. Year-to-date there have been 4,014 sales reported compared to the 4,039 sales last year. It looks like we are on track for some record breaking results in 2016 according to the South Central Wisconsin MLS.

Entering the second half of the year, mortgage interest rates continue to remain low. As reported by Freddie Mac, rates on July 7th stood at 3.41% which is down from 4.04% at this time last year. The record low still stands at 3.31% in November 2012.

There are so many amazing advantages to being either a buyer or seller in this market. Ready to make the next step? Contact the professionals at Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234 or visit our website.

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This Month in Real Estate: May 2016

Compared to last year, home sales in Dane county are down 8.3%. However, the 842 reported transactions ranked 3rd best for the month over the last ten years. Year-to-date sales are ahead in all of the South Central Wisconsin MLS regions except Dane County. Median sale prices also rose in most markets for the month and are equal or ahead of all markets for the first 5 months in 2016.

The supply of active inventory stands at just 2.23 months, compared to 3.15 months last year. A balanced market has a 6 month supply between buyers and sellers. With the low inventory rate we are seeing multiple offers on the few homes that are for sale. Fierce buyer competition may be holding back many owners from selling.

Summer is a great time to lock in low interest rates that stand at 3.6%. This is well below the rate of 4.04% of last year. If you're considering buying a home now may be the time to lock in those low rates before they are gone.

If you've decided now is the time to buy or sell contact us at 608-620-4234! We have the expertise to navigate you through this tricky market.

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This Month in Real Estate: March 2016

According to the South Central Wisconsin MLS The first quarter of 2016 has come to a close and median prices are higher than a year ago. In Dane county sales are 1.5% ahead of 2015 - which finished the year as the second best ever for home sales. For the entire SCWMLS (excluding Dane County) sales increased 4.6%. Median sales prices have also risen this year as compared to 2015. For the quarter prices are up 4.5% to $230,000 in Dane County and for the SCWMLS region up 8.1% to $129,700.

Active listings are at a 30% drop compared to last year in Dane County and down 18% for the SCWMLS Region. While inventory remains lean interest rates also continue at historic lows - still below 4%. The low interest rates may be persuading buyers to find a home now rather than later, but low inventory is proving this to be a challenge. Most homes are off the market as soon as they go on and most have several competing offers. If you're on the fence about selling now is the time to get the best price for your home

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234

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This Month in Real Estate: February 2016

According to the The South Central Wisconsin MLS sales continued strong in the month of February after a record start in January. Although the 331 sales are 4.4% lower than last year, year-to-date sales are keeping pace with 2015, which almost set records.

New listings are increasing slightly for the month and the year. However robust sales are keeping the active inventory scarce and it has dropped 22.5% compared to February 2015. Currently there is only 2.16 months supply of active inventory as compared to 3.13 in 2015 and 3.57 months in 2014. In a balanced market there are generally 6 months of active inventory between buyers and sellers.

Since the demand is high and inventory is low, median sale prices continue to rise. Dane County median sales price increased 5.4% over 2015. The median sales price currently stands at $233,000 compared to 222,500 for the previous 12 month period, which is an increase of 4.7%.

Due to the favorable weather the spring market began early for 2016. Interest rates remain low standing at 3.86% which is slightly lower than 3.86% last year.

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234

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The Spring Market is Here!

Josh Lavik & Associates is keeping busy as the market picks up for spring! With the low available inventory of only 2.4 months, homes are selling quick. Check out Josh talk about the spring market and all the great listings we have.

If you're thinking of selling your home now is definitely the time! Not all real estate agents are the same so when picking one to sell your home choose carefully. We have the team to get your home sold Faster for More Money. Our 126 point marketing plan has proven successful with several of our current listings.

Ready to take the next steps? Contact us today to receive your FREE home analysis!

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This Month in Real Estate: January 2016

Dane county is hitting record numbers with the 347 reported sales of single family homes and condominiums. The South Central Wisconsin MLS reports this is the highest total ever for the month of January, breaking the previous record of 345 set in 2006. Compared to a median sales price of $217,500 last year we are up 4.9% at $232,550.

New listings in January rose to 7.4% in Dane County, however the total number of active listings decreased 22% due to increased sales activity. Right now there is only 2.16 months of available inventory on the market when generally 6 months is considered a balanced market.

For the SCWMLS region (excluding Dane County), January sales increased 10% over last year with the median sales price increasing 6.4% to $130,000 from $122,100. We see a positive 2016 with continued job growth and confident consumers. There is strong demand from Millennials and Gen Xers as new households are formed and life events take place in existing households. Affordability is high as favorable interest rates stay below 4% for now. We also see an increase in new construction with such low inventory.

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This Month in Real Estate: December 2015

The South Central MLS reports that Dane County home sales finished 2015 as the second best year ever! This is just slightly behind the all-time record year of 2005. Sales in 2015 were up 13.4% more than 2014. The median sales price has also continued increasing 6.2% for the month and 4.9% for the year. The median price of $231,125 at the end of 2015 is now the highest year-end median, surpassing the previous high of $220,500 in 2014.

2016 is looking up with the continuation of new household formations and job creation. This will continue to create high demand for housing. Millennials around the ages of 25-35 will impact the market as their personal financial condition improves. In 2015 they accounted for 1/3 of the national sales.

In 2016 we will also see home values continuing to rise and increase equities. The Gen Xers around the ages of 35-55 who are in their prime earning years will be thinking about moving up. The Baby Boomers ages 51-70 may start thinking about down-sizing or retiring. They could enter the market as a double role of buying and selling.

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This Month in Real Estate: November 2015

The South Central MLS reports that November home sales are up 13.6% over last year and 13.8% year-to-date. There are a total of 7,450 sales reported through the first 11 months of 2015, exceeding the annual totals for every year except 2005. For November, the Dane County median sales price of $232,950 is 2.2% higher than November 2014. Year-to-date the median sales price is 4.5% higher than last year at $230,000 compared to $220,000.

New listings in Dane county increased over 13% this year with more growth projected for 2016. The higher volume sales continue to drive down available inventory. Currently there is only a 2.8 month inventory as compared to a 4 month inventory last year. The South Central MLS reports across the eight county primary market region, sales increased 10.1% for the month and are up 11.6% year-to-date. The median sales price has risen in each county, up 6.1% year-to-date.

Buyers who are thinking of looking in the spring, should consider starting now. Instead of risking higher rates in the spring you can lock in the current low interest rates. There is also less competition between other buyers now than in the spring market.
Posted by Katelyn Son at 12:48 PM

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This Month in Real Estate: October 2015

The South Central MLS reports that the 586 Dane County sales reported for October are 18.9% more than 2014 and are the highest total for the month since 2004. This brings year-to-date sales to 6,950 which is 13.6% ahead of last year and on pace to be one of the top three years of home sales ever.

The median sales price in Dane County for October is staying steady at $230,000, as it has been year-to-date. This compared to the median sales price for the first 10 months of last year the South Central MLS reports there is a 4.6% increase. The median sales price in Dane County has demonstrated solid growth since 2012 and is exceeding the previous annual high of $218,000 set at the end of 2007.

For the month of October new listings have increased 4%, but the higher volume of sales continues to keep the number of homes for sale very lean. Only 3.06 months of active inventory is now available, compared to the 4.5 months just one year ago.

Across South Central Wisconsin MLS, sales increased 3.8% in October, making it 11.7% ahead of last year. The median sales price increased 7.2% as well for the month and 6.2% year-to-date. All counties are equally or exceeding 2014 in year-to-date sales and median prices.

With great interest rates still in place, pending the Federal Reserve's next meeting in December, and steadily rising prices, many buyers have recognized that waiting to act may cost more. Now is a great time to contact us to buy or sell your home!

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.

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This Month in Real Estate: September 2015

Home sales in Dane County for the month of September look very much like they did for the last two years. The 567 reported sales are six less that 2014 and 7 more than 2013 reports the South Central MLS. What does not look the same is the year-to-date total. For only the third time in the last ten years, Dane County has exceeded 6000 home sales through the first three quarters of the year. 2015 is out-selling 2014 by 12.5% and is on pace to be the second highest on record.

With the supply of active inventory in Dane County continuing to be lean - only 3.2 months in September - it is no surprise that median sale prices continue their rise as well reports the South Central MLS. For the month, the median sale price of $238,000 is 5.8% higher than one year ago. Year-over-year, the median sale price is 5% higher ($230,000 compared to $219,000).

Strength is also evident throughout the eight county primary market region of the South Central Wisconsin MLS. Sales - monthly and year-to-date - were up in Columbia, Dodge, Green, Iowa and Rock Counties. Like Dane, Grant and Sauk County reported September sales just slightly lower but are ahead in year-to-date numbers. All counties reported median sale prices equal or greater to last year for September, and for the first three quarters of the year.

Throughout this region, home sales are up 12% and the median sale price is up 5.5% for the year. The supply of active inventory for the overall region stands at 4.49 months, a bit more balanced than Dane County.

So what can be expected in the fourth quarter? One constant that we can always depend on will be a change in the weather. Yes, cooler temperatures are coming and with it a cooling of the market pace.

But the influencers of buyers' decisions to act are still very prominent. Interest rates that we expected to be higher by now are still...

This Month in Real Estate: August 2015

While August homes sales in Dane County did not set records like June and July, the 713 sales are slightly more than 2014, keeping the year-to-date total 13.8% ahead of last year in Dane County, the South Central MLS reports.

The median sale price in Dane County rose 5% for the month and is 4.6% higher for the year compared to last year ($230,000 vs. $219,900). Prices continue to show strength from the recessionary lows.

In August a total of number of active residential listings was 2,620, a 18.2% increase as compared to last month with a median listing price of 270k. Dane county home values have gone up 2.0% over the past year and are predicted to continue to rise. The median sales price for homes in Madison WI for June 15 to Sept. 15 was $215,000. This is an increase of 1% compared to the prior quarter and an increase of 3.9% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have appreciated 5.1% over the last 5 years in Madison. Average price per square foot for Madison WI was $138, an increase of 4.5% compared to the same period last year.

Buyers and sellers are encouraged to take advantage of the conditions in the market place – especially as mortgages continue to be available at very low rates. Mortgage rates have moved in a very narrow range, hovering just above or below 4% for most of the year. Average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgages decreased from 4.10% to 4.09%, with points increasing to .42 from .39 reports CNBC.

For information about current market conditions, or to discuss the right time for you to buy or sell a house, contact Josh Lavik & Associates at 608-620-4234.

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This Month in Real Estate: March 2015

The gulf between supply and demand for homes in Madison widened in March.

Madison area home prices continued to soar amid a flurry of market activity in March.

The median sale price for single-family homes in Dane County reached $220,000 in March, a 6.3% increase from last year. Over the last three years, we have seen the median sale price of homes soar 15% in Dane County, the South Central Wisconsin MLS reports

What’s driving the increase in home prices and sales? Inventory is a major factor. At the end of March there were 1,927 active listings in Dane County, about 17% fewer than the year-over amount.

That doesn't mean, however, that Dane County homeowners aren't interested in selling. In March, 1,096 homes were listed for sale in Dane County. That’s the most we've seen in March over the last five years. Still, the month ended with the fewest number of homes on the market since 2003.

The number of new listings and the number of sales both soared in March. There were 578 sales reported in Dane County, an increase of about 16% from last year.

Demand for homes in Dane County is sky high.

Buyers are motivated by a number of factors: there’s widespread speculation that historically low interest rates will rise in the near future, and more people are in a sound financial position to buy because of improving economic conditions.

Dane County has also seen a 5.6% increase in population since 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. That means more buyers may be vying for homes in the area.


Median home values have increased sharply over...

Facing Limited Inventory, More Buyers Turn to New Construction

Market conditions in Dane County make new construction an attractive option.

Building a new home is a lifelong dream for most people, and current real estate market conditions in Dane County have made it a great time to take that step.

February ended with 20% fewer active listings in Dane County than in the previous year. That means buyers face fewer options and higher prices for pre-owned homes, the South Central Wisconsin MLS reports

That situation has made new construction an attractive, economical option for buyers who are unable to find a pre-home that meets all of their needs. Josh Lavik, a realtor with Keller Williams and the principal at Josh Lavik & Associates, recently saw that play out with one of his clients.

“For nearly the same price as a pre-owned home, my client was able to make his own selections and build new,” Josh Lavik said.

That trend has played out across the country, too. The rate of new home starts was 18.7% higher in January than in the previous year, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reports

Still, even when market conditions make new construction a great option, many think the process is too complex or intimidating for them. Amy Kirner, a new home specialist at Veridan Homes, works to dispel that myth.

“Buying a new home has always been an option, but the stereotypical myth is that building or buying a new home is difficult, or loans are hard to acquire, or they cost more, or you don’t close on time,” Amy Kirner said. “But many are finding that this...

This Month in Real Estate - February 2015

The median sale price for homes, and the number of homes sold, were both up in February.

By Aaron Martin
Josh Lavik & Associates

The real estate market in the Madison area continues to heat up as winter turns to spring.

Demand from homebuyers is high, and inventory remains low. That created a great market for home sellers in Dane County in February. The number of homes sold, and the median sale price, both continued to trend upward.

The median sale price for homes across Dane County hit a record high for the month of February. It settled at $216,250, a 9% increase over the same period last year, the South Central Wisconsin MLS reported

Motivated buyers and limited inventory could continue to drive higher sale prices in the months ahead.

“Based on numerous conversations with my clients, there seems to be a sense of urgency in the market to buy a home before the interest rates start to rise,” said Josh Lavik, a realtor with Keller Williams and the principal at Josh Lavik & Associates. “Nearly all mortgage lenders that I talk to are expecting interest rates to rise this year, they just don't know when. This is definitely making a market where home sellers’ have an advantage, often with multiple offers to choose from.”

Higher sale prices didn’t turn those motivated homebuyers away last month, either. The number of homes sold in Dane County reached a seven-year high for February. There were 346 home sales reported, up 5.5% from the year-over amount.

Overall economic conditions help explain homebuyers’ willingness to pay higher prices for homes. At the end of 2014, the U.S. unemployment rate was at its lowest level since 2008, and...