As available homes in Rock County continue to dwindle, prices rise – what you need to know about the market

JANESVILLE, Wis. – While the coronavirus pandemic has closed schools, taken away jobs and altered the last year in a myriad of ways, it has not slowed the housing market in Rock County.

Since 2011, the median price of a home in Janesville, the county’s largest city, has more than doubled. In the last year alone, median prices have risen 12%, according to the Rock Green Realty Association.

Part of the reason for this, says Century 21 Affiliated Real Estate Agent Ashley Ormes, is supply.

“The biggest struggle is our decrease of inventory,” Ormes said. “Not enough houses, but enough buyers.”

Inventory has dropped from 300 to 120 in the last year, creating situations where a single home can yield up to 22 offers in a matter of days, Ormes said.

“It’s the typical problem of supply and demand,” Ormes said. “People are paying for what they want. The sales themselves are up by about ten percent, so that proves the sales are happening, we just don’t have enough to sell for the people that are ready.”

While this benefits sellers, Ormes said low interest rates and more lenders willing to preapprove help level the playing field for buyers.

I see opportunity for buyers to get in and own a house at a better standpoint then when houses weren’t worth as much as they are now,” she said.

For some, trying to find a home in the last year has proven difficult.

We’re competing against so many people who this could be their first home,” said Kari Klebba, who worked with Ormes to secure a home 2020. “It was very intimidating in a market like this. The worry of, are we going to find that perfect home, and when we do find that perfect home, how are we going to get it?”

However Klebba said as a renter, she had the ability to wait for the right opening.

We had the luxury of patience,” she said.