The real estate market peaked in 2004 and 2005 in the Northwoods as well as other areas of the country. 2005 was the record for number of sales and 2004 was the record for the highest median price for homes in Lincoln, Oneida and Vilas Counties. Wisconsin home sales dropped 24% the first quarter of 2008 compared to 2007. However, the severe weather played a big part in this decrease. Much of Southern Wisconsin received as much as 3 times their normal snow fall. When spring did finally arrive in the Northwoods the market picked up substantially. Buyers are still in the drivers seat and sellers that have their properties in the best condition and at the best price are receiving offers the first weeks on the market .
Mortgage rates are still hovering around 6%. But the days of “stated income” and C paper loans are over. Buyers need to have good credit scores and be able to document their incomes in order to get a loan.
There is still a large inventory of foreclosed properties on the market and some good deals to be had. Unfortunately many of these homes are in very poor condition and buyers need to beware.
The recreational home market is still healthy . Baby boomers continue to buy lake homes and cottages and have a good inventory of properties to choose from. But in the end price is king and overpriced properties will continue to linger on the market while properties priced competitively will sell.