Economy

Fast Facts: Wisconsin's rising housing costs

The price of a place to live is on the rise in Wisconsin, in terms of both real estate and rent, as changing demographics help drive high demand amid a limited housing supply, with each factor intensified in the wake of the pandemic.

By Kristian Knutsen, Will Cushman

April 15, 2022

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People who are on the hunt for a new place to call home around Wisconsin are facing not enough options and increasingly unaffordable prices.

It's about supply and demand. The number of people looking to buy houses and rent apartments is growing. The supply of housing is not, and the tight supply of housing has caused prices to spike.

In 2021, the median price of a home in the state was $240,000, up by about $20,000 over the course of the year, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Meanwhile, the supply of houses for sale in Wisconsin over the course of 2021 fell by over 12%. It was a similar story in 2020.

Rent has also spiked in Wisconsin over the same time period. As entry-level home purchasers can't keep up with prices, they're continuing to rent, with that demand driving up those costs.

A perfect storm is fueling these trends. New housing construction lags behind population growth, millennials have entered their prime home-buying years, and the pandemic tightened supply chains.

Now with interest rates going up, the cost of mortgages is poised to rise as well.

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