Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HOT MARKETS! in the Greater Madison Area

The hottest neighborhoods on both the city's East and West sides share the key qualities of convenience and reasonable home prices, Based on inventory data for unsold homes from statistics by the South Central Wisconsin MLS to calculate the months of home and condominium sales inventory for all Madison neighborhoods and many other Dane County communities. Much of research can be found online at

Months of inventory is a standard used to determine the health of a real estate market. It is determined using a year's worth of sales for each area and calculating how many months it would take at those sales rates to work through the number of homes and condominiums on the market.

Experts consider about 5.5 to 6 months of inventory to be an optimum balance between sellers and buyers. A smaller number indicates a seller's market while larger number indicates a buyer's market.

The inventory data identified the hottest and slowest real estate markets in the county and also revealed that:The county has a range from 3 months of inventory for single-family homes in the Atwood East neighborhood on Madison's East Side to 49.7 months for condominiums in Oregon.

The local single-family home market overall is much stronger than the condominium market.
The strongest single-family and condominium markets are in Madison neighborhoods convenient to shopping, schools, parks and buses, while the weakest markets are in the suburbs.

High gasoline prices could heighten the disparity between city and suburban real estate markets, said William Malkesian, president of the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

"I don't think there's a question today that if you're going out to buy a house, transportation is probably higher up on your list than it was a year ago," he said.

Five Madison neighborhoods are strong markets for single-family home sales despite the overall real estate market slowdown.

With small ranches and bungalows, the Atwood East area near the intersection of Milwaukee and Walter streets is close to Woodman's Food Store, Schenk Elementary School and Olbrich Park. Most homes for sale are priced below $200,000. Homes priced for first-time buyers are a huge influence on the market because people don't have to sell homes before they buy.

Other East Side neighborhoods with low inventory rankings include the Williamson Street/Atwood Avenue area along Lake Monona west of Olbrich Park, and the Monona Drive area near La Follette High School.


On the West Side, the Parkwood Hills/Faircrest neighborhood north of Mineral Point Road between Whitney Way and Gammon Road is among the hottest markets both for single-family homes and condominiums. It ranks second in both categories with 3.2 months of single-family home inventory and 17 homes for sale, and 7.2 months of condo inventory with 10 units for sale.

Every place is a little bit different, of course, Since traditional buyers are out there in the $250,000 and under price range, price point is very important.

The Near West area east of Whitney Way between University Avenue and Mineral Point Road also has a low inventory ranking, making it a hot market.

Maple Bluff is the county's slowest single-family market with 17.7 months of inventory, 28 homes for sale and most priced in the $350,000 to $700,000 range. Four homes are priced between $1 million and $3 million.

Other slower single-family markets are in Mount Horeb, McFarland and the South Midvale/Verona road area in Madison, south of the Beltline along Verona Road, and the Southwest area north of Raymond Road to the city limits.

(Excerpts taken from: MARV BALOUSEK |Sunday, May 18, 2008 Wisconsin State Journal)

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