Home sales up, first time in two years
By: Brian Bull, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
A statewide realtors group says home sales are up this quarter, the first time since the recession began nearly two years ago.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) says home sales climbed 5.8 percent in the third quarter of 2009, compared to the same period last year. But the WRA says the national economy still has a long ways to go. Unemployment is 10 percent nationwide, and 7.7 percent in Wisconsin.
UW-Business School real estate professor Stephen Malpezzi says “an unemployment check barely covers the average mortgage in Wisconsin.” He says the federal government has focused on helping people who took out badly-designed subprime mortgages, but Malpezzi says the newly created federal programs don’t help people who are unemployed pay a 30-year fixed mortgage. He adds the federal government should redirect some money to help pay the mortgage for someone who’s unemployed.
Malpezzi says unless something is done at the federal level, another wave of foreclosures could hit in the coming months.