March 2020

Wisconsin Housing Market Vitality



Wisconsin metro area house prices are forecasted to underperform the national market. Current local conditions support an estimated 4.9% increase in the next twelve months. Wisconsin’s housing market vitality, based on the fifteen metro housing markets which comprise it, is weaker than that of the overall U.S. and currently ranks the state as forty first in the nation. Recent changes in local conditions suggest the possibility of moderation in short-term performance.

Housing Market Vitality

Housing Market Vitality summarizes the impact of economic conditions on future house prices. A value of 100 corresponds to conditions supporting current prices; values less than 100 correspond to a dampening effect; and values greater than 100 indicate a positive effect on house prices.  A housing market vitality value can be interpreted as a forecasted growth rate. Hence, a reading of 105.8 can be interpreted as a forecasted 5.8% annualized increase in house prices.

Wisconsin Metro Housing Markets

Wisconsin is comprised of fifteen metro housing markets that account for nearly 74% of the state’s population. The markets are unique in their demographics and local economies and exhibit trends that are distinct from the national or state narrative. Each metro market presents its own unique opportunity.

Appleton, WI Outperform 125
Duluth, MN-WI Track 314
Eau Claire, WI Outperform 21
Fond du Lac, WI Outperform 206
Green Bay, WI Outperform 210
Janesville-Beloit, WI Outperform 232
La Crosse-Onalaska, WI-MN Outperform 142
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Underperform 362
Madison, WI Outperform 121
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI Underperform 382
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Underperform 283
Oshkosh-Neenah, WI Track 318
Racine, WI Underperform 398
Sheboygan, WI Outperform 165
Wausau, WI Outperform 147

Industry Specialization

Wisconsin’s state economy is specialized in Manufacturing and Edu Health svcs. Mining, Construction, and Information industry sectors are less important to the state economy compared to the national economy.

Industry specialization helps explain the differing impact of industry trends on local economies in contrast to industry composition which describes the structure of the economy. A Specialization Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the sector having a greater share of the state economy than it does of the national economy. Sectors with a Specialization Index greater than 120 characterize the local economy.


Compared to the U.S., there is a lower incidence of poverty amongst Badger State residents and they have greater purchasing power. There are more high school graduates and a larger proportion of the population is college educated. Wisconsin’s population is comparatively less diverse than the overall U.S. population.

A Demographics Index value greater than 100 corresponds to the factor being more intense in the state versus the national average. Characteristics of the local population is a longer-term factor that influences the housing market.