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Wisconsin home prices have risen by 50% since 2017, outpacing incomes

Home Prices
Posted at 6:41 AM, Apr 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-22 13:05:14-04

Whether you rent or own, home prices are outpacing incomes across the state of Wisconsin.

TMJ4's Andrea Albers is walking us through a looming housing crisis. Her investigation took her from Kenosha to Sheboygan as she spoke to renters and people hoping to buy homes — but finding themselves priced out again and again.

Some of those people have been house hunting for six years.

The data paints a pretty dark picture — in the last five years, rental prices have risen around 20% in Wisconsin, while home sale prices have shot up by about 50%.

In 2017, the median cost of a home for sale in the state was just under $173,000, but by 2022, that cost had jumped to $265,000.

In that same five year period, incomes grew just 19%.

In certain areas of the state, that combination of factors has made the dream of home ownership nearly impossible. Renters are strained too as prices across the board have become affordable for the average resident.

"I think that you could call a crisis and in certain communities," said Joe Peter Angelo, Sr., a senior researcher at the Wisconsin Policy Fund. "for example in Dane county I know the situation is so severe there, that growth [in prices] --there's more growth happening there, and especially as you look into the future."

"Okay, so demand is a piece of the puzzle here," Andrea asked. "If more housing were to become available would you hypothesize that prices would come down?"

"I think that there is a potential at least to slow the growth in prices," Angelo said.

Negative ripple effects include issues around the workforce and the economy — the bottom line is housing affordability can impact business owners' ability to attract and retain talent, which is becoming a problem in Sheboygan county.

So much so that four major businesses have donated millions of dollars directly to their employees to help them buy homes.

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