Believe it or not, we are already in the middle of Q3! Looking back at the first 7 months of the year we get a pretty good idea where we are headed for the balance of the year!

High demand, low inventory and ever shorter Days On Market remain the driving factors - and keep pushing up prices. Appraisals have been an issue for residential buyers and sometimes investors: multiple offers drive prices up over 6 months historic comparables, which is the base for every appraisal (rear view mirror). 

The market has slowed down a little bit for the seasonal summer vacation time (July/August) and will typically heat up again in September. The 4th quarter is always my favorite quarter to buy, as Sellers are concerned about the upcoming winter. What does not sell in December typically expires, which makes Q1 often the hardest time to buy, followed by next years spring market.

Here is the July data for the Greater Milwaukee Metro Area (I have included the suburbs which are technically outside of Milwaukee County):

Below is Milwaukee County: 

To understand the difference this heat map is helpful - blue shows increases in value in %, red show decreases.

The map shows very well how the differences of various neighborhoods in Milwaukee. 

Of course in some areas it's the magic of small numbers that shows a large increase in %, so it does not automatically mean that investing in blue areas is always a the best idea. Many of the quality neighborhoods with higher ($) homes are light blue and which represents solid appreciation.

Where are we in the cycle in the big picture?

Technically we are long overdue for a change in the cycle after going up for 7 consecutive years. However I don't see it in the data at this point. A lot of people point to increased prices and predict a slow down. KCM is a very levelheaded researcher and publishes interesting statistics on the subject. The first one is House Payments in % of income. The recent interest rates reductions certainly benefited Home Buyers.

 Overall that translates into a housing affordability index: