GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

‘It was chaotic’: Real estate market in northeast Wisconsin remains on fire

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — It is a seller’s market right now. And if you’re looking to buy, you know all too well about the struggle of getting your offer accepted.

“It was good, it was hard. But we had a really good realtor we worked with that made the process a little bit easier for us, but it was chaotic,” said Matt Owens.

For him, and his partner Joe, a cross-country move to be closer to family was a test of patience.

“There was a lot of inventory out there but it was hitting the market and falling off the market really quick. So we had to be really quick to act,” said Joe Cherney.

The housing market in northeast Wisconsin is on fire right now.

“The sellers are in total control,” said Dan Ludwig of Shorewest Realty. “If you are looking at selling, now is a great time. It’s a great time to pull the equity out of your house. It’s probably the highest it’s ever been in 15 years.”

For a $150,000 to $200,000 home, it was selling for 65-percent over its asking price in 2020. Most are selling for 78-percent above asking right now, according to real estate data from Brown County.

In one case, a home sold for $35,000 above its asking price.

“What makes that challenging for buyers is that if I go to a bank and the bank says I can afford a $250,000 mortgage — or a $250,000 home with X amount of down, I can’t look at a $250,000 home,” said Ludwig.

The silver lining? Realtors say what happened in 2008 is not at all what’s happening right now.

“People have more equity in their home right now. In 2008, people were using their homes as banks, as ATMs, and they were up to the limit on their mortgage so when it was time to sell, they were selling short and didn’t have enough money,” Ludwig said.

It comes down to supply and demand. Then, there was a lot of inventory. Now, there is hardly any.

“Talking thousands of dollars over asking price, and we lost it, so it was good in the fact that we had a really great realtor we worked with but hard not doing everything here and doing it virtually but with the housing market the way it was for houses left and right that’s hard,” Owens said.

Realtors say it won’t be this way forever, and add what we are seeing right now is on trend for what was predicted.

“Experts are calling it now deceleration and not depreciation. Deceleration means we’re not going to see those 15 percent, 17 percent home price appreciations like we saw this year. Starting next year, they’re predicting a little over 5 percent, and then 4 percent the next four years, which is really in line with the history,” Ludwig said.

For Matt and Joe, that wait and patience paid off.

“I think we got a little frustrated a few times, got a little anxious, got a little nervous, especially after putting multiple bids in and losing them, but we didn’t lose hope, and there’s the right house out there for you, you just gotta wait for it. It’ll come along,” Owens said.

Realtors say the best way to have leverage when buying a home is having solid pre-approval from a local lender for most sellers. That can make or break a deal.

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