Northwestern WI: The State of the Market

Now that the dust has cleared after the State of the Union address, the coast is clear for us to share the State of the Market for our area. At the end of every calendar year, we extract data from the MLS and from the real estate recordings at the County Register of Deeds and compare it to the previous year’s findings. When it comes to reading the tea leaves, we combine forces with our entire team to make sense of it all and draw some relevant conclusions. Our shared experiences are stirred into the data and we arrive at a few points of brilliance. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves!

Point of Brilliance #1: Steady She Goes
Total sales in 2018, in terms of dollars-sold, was much the same as 2017. However, homes and cabins sold faster than the previous year and for an average of 3-4% off list price. We saw many properties sell for full price and also had multiple offers on properties that were “the hot ticket” for buyers. (If you want to know if your property is “hot”, invite one of us over and we can let you know!) Vacant land and lake lot sales were much the same as the prior year – stable and still a bit soft. The element that kept the market from growing more is Point of Brilliance #2.

Point of Brilliance #2: Low Inventory
We’re sitting in a virtual corn field with this one and chanting, “If you build it, they will come.” There are a few things that we simply can’t change quickly, and this is one of them. For every 5 buyers we work with, we have one matching property. It’s frustrating for buyers and it’s frustrating for us. But we have a finite amount of lakeshore and land to go around, and we’re also suffering from a lingering aftermath of the downturn, where few new structures were built. So why, you ask, aren’t the prices shooting through the roof? Refer yourself back to the downturn. No one has forgotten how that felt and no one wants to make a foolish real estate purchase. AKA: Mamma ain’t raised no fool.

Point of Brilliance #3: Changing Buyer Pool
Change can be sneaky when you’re immersed in the midst of it. One day you wake up and feel like things have changed overnight, except they haven’t. This one is kind of like that. Suddenly, we have more and more buyers looking to move here, live here, retire here. The way people live and work has become uber flexible and living Up North is now a viable option for more buyers. As a result, the ratio of wannabe weekend-owners to wannabe resident-owners has shifted, and we’re selling more properties that are geared to that buyer pool, like “higher end” Voyager Village homes and alternative recreational homes. We’re also selling futures. Because the folks who aren’t able to pull the plug and move right now are looking to buy something they can slide into when the time is right.

2019 is here to stay and the Spring Market is upon us. We say, “Bring it on!” If you want to be a part of next year’s statistics and contribute to a future Point of Brilliance, give us a call. We’re here to help! ~ Wanda Boldon


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