Despite healthy market, housing inventory low in La Crosse

Strong sales in La Crosse, but finding a home to buy is difficult

If you’re looking to buy a home in the La Crosse area, you have got to move fast.

A report from the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association on Monday looks at the healthy housing market throughout the state.

According to that report, over the last year, home sales have gone up 2.9 percent across the state.

It’s the strongest May sales report since 2005.

But in our area, that number doesn’t tell the whole story.

Lucas Severson and his four-legged friend Albus wanted to buy a house that had a little more room.

“We really liked there’s a giant deck in the back, and a giant fenced in yard, good for keeping our puppy fenced in,” he said.

While he closed on a house a few months ago, the process to purchase a home, was a little challenging.

“Any of the homes that were put on the market, it seemed, any of the good ones had offers within three or four hours,” he said. “We would say, ‘Can we go look at this house?’ to our Realtor, and by that afternoon, someone would already have an offer on it.”

It’s a trend not surprising to La Crosse Area Realtors Association’s Dave Synder.

“I think when something comes on the market, and it’s priced right, it can sell as quick as 24 hours, or as quick as two or three days,” Snyder said.

While sales remain about the same in La Crosse County from a year ago, the inventory remains the tightest in the state, with only 3.7 month of available inventory. The lack of homes can also affect those looking to sell.

“The shortage itself has to do with the shortage, because if people can’t find something to purchase, then maybe they’re not apt to put their house on the market,” Snyder said.

Lack of inventory has also raised the price of homes by about 1.8 percent in La Crosse.

If unable to find the right house, however, experts said it’s still a good time to purchase a house.

“I think overall the market is going to continue to be good throughout the year,” Snyder said.

While it may have taken more time to find that perfect house, Severson and Albus have a few words of advice to future home-buyers.

“I would say be vigilant when you’re looking,” Severson said. “Look on the websites each day, and hopefully get a viewing of the house as soon as possible.”

Experts say now that we are in summer, we are seeing more houses enter the market in La Crosse.

With low mortgage rates and this shortage of homes, it still can be a good market for both buyers and sellers.

The price of homes is also going up statewide as well.

According to the report, the median price of homes rose 3.1 percent to $165,000.