Central Wisconsin real estate trends for 2010

January 14, 2010

Central Wisconsin Housing Trend For 2010

Article provided by Ron Zahrt, President of First Weber Group Northern Wisconsin

Single family residential home sales are showing signs of a recovery from prior year’s sales.  Overall the real estate market showed a significant gain over 2008 4th quarter sales in the last quarter of 2009.  Single family residential homes sales for the 4th quarter in the Central Wisconsin MLS for 2009 were 711 units compared to 569 homes sold in the 4th quarter in 2008.  This amounts to a 137 gain in homes sales or almost a 25% gain in single family home sales for this time period.  Much of this increase can be attributable to the housing stimulus package for first time home buyers that was scheduled to expire on November 30th of 2009.   Since then the housing stimulus has been extended by Congress until April 30th of 2010. It has also been expanded to allow participation by some individuals who own their current home.  This will allow housing sales to continue to get better as 2010 progresses. 


Full year statistics from the Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service* show home sales in calendar year 2009 for Central Wisconsin were up slightly over 2008.   The numbers of homes sold in the area served by the Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing Service; (Marshfield, Stevens Point, Wausau, and Wisconsin Rapids) were up from 2743 in 2008 to 2767 in 2009.   While is may seem an insignificant gain, an increase in the number of sales creates a positive attitude toward the housing market. The fact that there is a gain in number of homes sold after a very slow start in 2009 points to a housing recovery taking place in central Wisconsin.  Housing activity in the market in 2010 is up substantially from the same period in 2009. 

What will the year 2010 bring then?  The Federal Tax Stimulus is in place until April 30th, fixed rate interest rates are very low, and a large inventory of homes is currently available.  This may be the most advantageous market in a long time to either sell a home or purchase a new one.  One may ask?  If home prices are a somewhat depressed, why make the move now?  If you are not now a homeowner, homes prices right now are probably at the low point they will be for some time. Combine that with the First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit and it is a great time to buy.

If you are a current home owner looking to step up, you may sell for a somewhat lower sale price than in prior years; however, you may be able to make up the difference or more on the purchase of your next home. This is a great time to move up to the home that you want. Add this with the fact that many step up buyers may also qualify for a Federal Tax Credit, now is the time to be looking for your step up home.

What’s my advice about buying or selling a home this year?  Talk to your local lender, your tax advisor and call a REALTOR.

Home buying activity traditionally picks up as we move further into the year.  Interest rates are traditionally at their low point in the year during this time period, inventory is very good and the Federal Tax Credit remains in effect for the first quarter of 2010. 

This may be the best time in years to buy that home you’ve been waiting for.

* The statistics in this article are obtained from the Central Wisconsin MLS database and neither the MLS nor the author represent that this encompasses all sales in the area.







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