Housing prices doubled, real estate experts don’t think it’s a bubble

Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 6:33 PM CDT
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MOSINEE, Wis. (WSAW) - Housing prices in Wisconsin doubled in a year’s time and buyers are still paying the prices.

Luke Butzler closed on a new-build home Friday, but it took a long time for him to get to this day.

“For the last, I would say, year and a half to two years I’ve really been keeping my eyes on the market, and then obviously, COVID last year really threw things for a loop.”

Butzler moved from Eau Claire to start a new job in the Wausau area. He has been renting an apartment until he could find the perfect fit.

“Started, you know, looking at multiple houses per week, going to a couple of open houses,” he said. “You know, running into different scenarios with offers, multiple offers the same day of open houses and accepted offers on those same days.”

He looked at about 30 homes, about half of them were serious contenders for him. Most of them were existing homes. He ultimately landed on a new build, cutting out a lot of the bidding wars.

His realtor, Austin Solomon with Coldwell Banker Action, said Butzler’s experience is common right now.

“There’s still a lot of demand for homes, right? There’s still a lot of buyers out there and there are probably 10-15 buyers for every one house, so it’s going to take a lot of supply to meet the current demands,” he said, adding that buyers have to expect to give aggressive offers and often over asking.

Solomon said the market has changed even from five years ago where buyers and sellers were on a more level playing field and sellers could not expect as many offers.

Currently, he said over the last year in the Wausau and Stevens Point area there have been between 250-500 homes on the market at any given time. The lucrative home price range is large, between $100,000-$500,000.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association, prices in places like Stevens Point, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids are starting to drop slightly, but Marshfield is keeping with the national trend upward.

While interest rates could change and possibly impact buyers willingness to purchase, Solomon said “I don’t think it’s a bubble.” Other experts in his field agree.

He said he anticipates prices to lower with the typical seasonal patterns, but he does not think prices will drastically change even by next year.

“No one knows. Time will tell, but I’m thinking we’re going to have a good season for a while yet.”

The current housing market looks similar to the market right before the great recession, but looking at analysis from David Schalow with UW-Stevens Point and Dave Clark, a Marquette University Economist and WRA Consultant, they say there are differences.

In the mid-2000s part of the strong demand for homes was due in part to lowering standards for buyers to get loans. Now, they say buyers are in a better position to weather economic challenges.

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