August home sales, prices are higher than last year’sThe Wisconsin Realtors Association says sales of existing homes, as well as home prices, are noticeably higher compared to the same time last year.
By: Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
The Wisconsin Realtors Association says sales of existing homes, as well as home prices, are noticeably higher compared to the same time last year.
Sales were up 13.7 percent compared to last August. David Clark, a professor of economics at Marquette University, consults with the Realtors Association, and says August is traditionally one of the state's busiest months for home buying.
“We get about 42 percent of our sales volume statewide typically within the period between May and August,” says Clark.
Clark says the median price of an existing Wisconsin home rose by just more than 6 percent to $152,000.
At the same time, he says, mortgage rates are also on the incline. In January of this year, the typical 30-year rate was 3.6 percent. It's now a point higher at 4.5 percent. “That tends to signal to potential buyers that, ‘OK, in terms of the price movement this asset has stopped depreciating – the housing market has bottomed out. So I won't be buying a house that's losing value; I'll be buying a house that's moving up in value.'”
Clark says the data shows Wisconsin has passed through the foreclosure crisis. He says the job market has also improved so people feel more confident in buying homes.