Living in a seller's market: Chippewa County follows state home sale trends through first half of 2018 - As Seen in the Chippewa Herald

Posted: 07.25.18

As seen in the Chippewa Herald:

Chippewa County’s housing market is staying on par with Wisconsin through the first half of 2018, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

County home sales report nearly 20 fewer homes sold in June 2018 than in June 2017, selling 89 homes during the month this year, the association reported Monday.

Meanwhile, the median price of homes spiked to the second highest point all year, at $185,000. In Chippewa County, June’s median price is second behind January 2018s, which clocked in at nearly $188,000.

This phenomenon follows state trends that Brenda Barnhardt, executive vice president with the Realtors Association of Northwestern Wisconsin, said is due to fewer available homes for eager, comfortable customers.

“It’s truly a supply-and-demand thing now,” Barnhardt said. “People are in excellent conditions to buy homes right now. The supply is short right now; there’s not enough inventory right now.”

Throughout the first half of 2018, Barnhardt added this trend follows the previous year.

According to the association’s June data, released Monday, the state sold nearly 12 percent fewer homes in this June than it did in June 2017, while median prices rose more than 5 percent during the month. Due to a strong and unusual winter sale period, the association reports that it has only sold 4 percent fewer homes year-to-date than last year.

The trends are creating a seller’s market, Barnhardt said, where sellers are seeing their homes go fast and buyers are having to be quick in their decisions.

“When you get into the market, before you start, make sure you’ve got your financing in place and be patient,” Barnhardt advised buyers, adding that prices are still affordable for those that are looking.

Bruce Hayhoe Jr., owner and broker at Woods and Water Realty in Chippewa Falls, said there appears to be a lot of new buyers in the Chippewa Valley market.

“There just aren’t that many homes available in the Chippewa Valley to meet the new demand,” Hayhoe said, adding that new businesses or expansions, like the Mills Fleet Farm Distribution Center, is partially fueling the higher need for homes.

Hayhoe advised buyers to work with an agent to ensure they are made aware of homes that fit their needs as soon as they hit the market. Despite their luck in the market, real-estate agents can also be valuable to sellers, Hayhoe added, as they can help a seller market their home.

Hayhoe said real-estate agents are seeing some homes being sold for more than the asking prices, as those looking for a new home are eager and willing to move in.

June was the best month of 2018 so far, selling a year-high 89 homes — 16 more than in May 2018 — selling 331 homes year-to-date.

Summer home sales are typically popular, Barnhardt said, as the weather is favorable for moving and most families wait until after a school year is over to move.

Hayhoe said he typically sees a busy market between March and June 15, while slowing down in August and September.

For buyers concerned with the competition in the housing market, Hayhoe encouraged them to take a chance on finding the home they have always wanted.

“I would say go out and have fun looking,” Hayhoe said. “Find your dream home; find that dream of yours.”

Around Western Wisconsin

South of Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire County followed statewide trends as well, selling 23 fewer homes in June 2018 than a year prior at 174 homes sold — a year high.

June 2018 median prices in the county dropped from more than $182,000 in April, to $178,500 in May and to $171,500 in June 2018. The year-to-date median range, according to the association, places the county just over $1,000 above last year’s median price, at $171,250.

Dunn County home sales in June 2018 slipped below its May totals, selling 68 homes in June compared to 82 in May. In June 2017, the county sold 77 homes.

The county’s median home price also dipped in June, decreasing $20,000 from May and hitting $154,000. That’s nearly $100,000 less than the county’s yearly high of $240,000 in February 2018.

Year-to-date, Dunn County’s median price sits at $166,600.

RANWW provides educational opportunities for its members, is active in local, state and national advocacy efforts, engages in community outreach through charitable giving, operates its own private foundation to help homeowners in need and remains a positive force for the members they serve. Visit for information.

LOOKING FOR EXTRA HELP?  Click here to visit our Helpful Links.