South Central Wisconsin Real Estate Update

March 24, 2010

Wisconsin Real Estate Market update from South Central Wisconsin MLS’s Kevin King…

"Through the first two months of 2010, home sales for South Central Wisconsin continue the positive results started in the last half of 2009. After a very slow start one year ago, 2009 sales nudged ahead of 2008 at year end. The start of 2010 hopefully is carrying that momentum forward.

Dane County sales of 270 single family homes/condominiums for February were substantially higher than the 223 sales reported for the same time last year. This is the 7th time in the last 8 months that monthly sales have exceeded the sales of the previous year. For the first two months of 2010, Dane County sales are ahead of last year by 79 units (453-374) – a 22% increase.

This positive news has not been limited to Dane County. Columbia, Dodge, Rock and Sauk Counties all have equaled Dane County by bettering sales over one year ago in seven of the last months. Sauk County has a streak of 6 months in a row of equal or better sales and Rock County is working on a string of 5 months in a row. Grant County sales dropped in February, breaking its string of 5 straight months of higher sales. Green County is trailing only Slightly – exceeding sales in 6 of the last 8 months. Iowa County sales dropped this February in comparison to last year, but total sales for 2010 are ahead of 2009.

Interest rates remain at excellent levels – currently hovering around the 5% level for 30 year fixed rate mortgages. WHEDA is back in the home loan market with its new WHEDA Fannie Mae Advantage program – a fixed rate 30 year mortgage designed for first time homebuyers. Yet qualification requirements continue to be higher than years past.

Inventory of active listings has remained healthy and relatively stable – but is still much higher overall than 2005 when the increase in supply began its rapid increase. Median prices for the first two months reflect a decrease – down approximately 6% for Dane County and approximately 7% for the South Central Wisconsin region. This change reflects, in part, the shift in the market influenced by the Home Buyer Tax Credit. This influence is likely to continue over the next six weeks, until the expiration of the Credit (accepted offers must be in place no later than April 30 with closing to be no later than June 30, 2010).

by Kevin King of South Central MLS, March 15, 2010

We hope Kevin’s insight is valuable information to readers of this Wisconsin real estate blog.

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