St. Croix Valley Dashboard for April 2017 Released.

The UW-River Falls Center for Economic Research (CER) in partnership with the St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) has released the latest edition of the St. Croix Valley Economic Dashboard. The dashboard is a snapshot of economic conditions in labor, consumer, agricultural and housing markets for the seven county St. Croix Valley. It presents the latest available data in one convenient package and can be viewed on the CER's website at

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The Local Housing Market

The months of housing inventory estimates how many months it would take to sell all currently listed homes if the number of homes sold remains constant at current levels.

The sale to list price ratio is the median sale price as a percent of the median listing price. The closer this ratio is to 100% the closer listing and sale prices match. A high ratio is an indicator of a seller's market and a low ratio is an indicator of a buyer's market.

Dunn housing market being a seller's market favorite has now turned its tables and joined the buyers' market. The Sale to List Price ratio is constantly dropping from past two months and has reached 59.1% from 85.4%. Total of Fifty-one percent drop from past two months. Pierce County went through a slight increase from 75% to 79.1%. On the other hand, Polk is in favor of sellers' market with a radical increase from 79.4% to 94.3%. St.Croix jumped right back to sellers' market by going down this month by 11% and standing at 74.9%. In comparison to last month's data, Months of Housing Inventory has increased for all counties. Dunn County by 4.1%, reflecting 9 months waiting period as of now. Pierce has increased by 1.8% leaving it at 5.9 months. Polk has gone up by 3.0%, standing at 8 months. St. Croix has a negligible increase of 0.1% with no alteration in the waiting period.

The US Economy

Output. Real gross domestic product increased 0.22% percent in comparison to last month data. The Real consumption factor has increased 0.52%. The Real investment continue to raise with a slight increase of 0.13%, whereas the Real Government spending has shown a slight decrease of 0.18%. Employment Cost Index continue to show negative growth in the month of November. Nevertheless, at the same time Initial claims a measure for the number of jobless claims filed by individuals seeking to receive state jobless benefits continuous to decrease in number. Initial claims went down to 24,000 in March 2017. This indicates that labor market is doing well and less people are claiming unemployment benefits. The Total Nonfarm employment shows slight decrease to 2,185,000 in March 2017.

Labor Market. The Employment Situation Report, (Bureau of Labor Statistics) released on April 07, 2017 reported that the unemployment rate declined to 4.5 % in March, and total nonfarm payroll employment edged up by 98,000. Major employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in mining, while retail trade lost jobs.

As per the Household Survey Data, The number of unemployed persons declined by 326,000 to 7.2 million. The Unemployment rate decreased by 0.2% and stand at 4.5 percent in March. Both measures were down over the year. Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult women (4.0 percent), Whites (3.9 percent), and Hispanics (5.1 percent) dropped in March. The unemployed rates for adult men (4.3 percent), teenagers (13.7 percent), Blacks (8.0 percent), and Asians (3.3 percent) showed little or no change.

Establishment Survey Data reported in March, employment in professional and business services rose by 56,000, about in line with the average monthly gain over the prior 12 months.

Mining added 11,000 jobs in March, Its employment has risen by 35,000 since reaching a recent low in October 2016.In March, employment sustained to trend up in health care (+14,000). Employment in financial activities has increased by 178,000 over the past 12 months. Employment in construction has been trending up since late last summer, largely among specialty trade contractors and in residential building.

Retail trade lost 30,000 jobs in March. Employment in other major industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little or no change over the month.

National Inflation and Interest Rates Consumer Prices in the United States increased 2.4% year on year in March 2017; Lower than 2.7 percent in February and below market expectations of 2.6%. It is the lowest we have hit from past three months. Consumer Price Index (CPI) decreased to 243.75 Index Points in March from 244.46 Index Points in February of 2017. Consumer Price Index CPI in the United States averaged 108.20 Index Points from 1950 until 2017, reaching an all-time high of 244.46 Index Points in February of 2017 and a record low of 23.51 Index Points in January of 1950 as per data collated by

Employment. As per BLS, Unemployment rate at Wisconsin stands at 3.7% and Minnesota at 4.0%. Wisconsin showed statistically significant employment changes from January 2017 to February 2017, about 11,100 i.e. 0.4 %. Percentage change in nonfarm employment in Wisconsin stands at 0.1% to 1.0% and Minnesota at slightly higher range of 1.1% to 2.0%.

Housing Market. The Wisconsin REALTORS® Association displays that according to their recent analysis of the state housing market, Existing home sales slipped in February even as prices continued to grow well above the rate of inflation. Specifically, home sales fell 2.6 percent in February 2017 relative to February 2016, and the median price rose 6.1 percent to $154,900 over that same period. In contrast, the annual inflation rate stood at 2.5 percent in January, the most recent month available.

"Needless to say, February is not a month where we see a lot of home sales in Wisconsin, but we would have expected stronger sales given the strength of the economy and relatively low mortgage rates," said Erik Sjowall, WRA board chairperson. The statewide unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in January, which puts it at the lowest level since December 2000.Remarkably, housing remains quite affordable, but there is no doubt that affordability is slipping and is likely to fall even further if mortgage rates increase as expected over the next year. The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index measures the fraction of the median-priced home that a creditworthy borrower with median family income can qualify to buy, given a 20 percent down payment and the remaining balance financed with 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. The index stood at 233 in February, down from 251 in February of last year, which is a 7.2 percent decline in affordability. Mortgage rates dropped to 3.44 percent in July of last year but have moved up nearly three quarters of a percent to 4.17 percent in February."While inflation was relatively stable over the first half of 2016, it has definitely Accelerated since that time," said Theo

-- 2017 February Home Sale Report

Housing Market in Twin Cities: 

With inventory and months of supply stressed to keep up with demand, it will be unusual for some weeks. Where pending sales is declining every year, especially new listings dropping below the standards set. We can endure to see sales prices forge their way upward and affordability go downward which is expected to be a pleasant spring and summer for sellers. As per the data provided by Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS. In the Twin Cities region, New Listings increased 1.4% to 2,013 whereas Pending Sales decreased 9.1% to 1,337 and Inventory decreased 21.7% to 10,188. For the month of March, Median Sales Price increased 7.0% to $237,500 whereas Days on Market decreased 14.1% to 73. While Percent of Original List Price Received increased 1.3% to 98.1%, the Months' Supply of Homes for Sale decreased 19.2% to 2.1.  


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