Wisconsin set record for home sales in 2021 despite median price rising more than 9%, report says

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MADISON, Wis. — Despite a tighter supply and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin hit a new record high for annual home sales in 2021, according to a new report from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The report released Monday said there were 89,328 total closings in 2021, up 0.7% from the previous record set in 2020. Home prices also climbed, with the median price in 2021 rising 9.1% over the previous year to $240,000.

In Dane County, the median home price climbed by nearly 11% from $320,000 in December 2020 to $355,000 in December 2021.

“Setting a new record for sales is remarkable,” Brad Lois, the group’s 2022 board chairman, said in a statement. “That we have been able to do this even as inventories tightened throughout 2021 is a true testament to the persistence of buyers and the hard work of REALTORS® to find buying opportunities, even in a strong seller’s market.”

Growth was not evenly spread across the state, though; according to the report, the number of closings jumped 4.4% in southeastern Wisconsin and 0.7% in south-central Wisconsin but fell nearly 6% in the northern part of the state.

Statewide, available inventory shrank in the last month of the year, falling to just two months’ worth of supply. The lowest inventory statewide in 2021 was among homes priced between $125,000 and $349,000, the report said.

Due to rising interest rates, the increase in median price and slow income growth, the report found overall affordability fell by 12.6% from December 2020 to December 2021.