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 hovering around 4% or below. However, it appears to be almost certain that the Federal Reserve will finally take action in December - action that most likely will create an upward pressure on mortgage rates.

As we stated above, lean inventories are having an impact on prices. With prices rising, it may be better to act sooner than later. Recent consumer confidence levels seem to support a decision to act now. The September Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index reported that consumers' belief in now is a good to sell and to buy is up for both and that confidence in employment and finances is up as well.

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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