Homes sales continue steady growth in Wisconsin

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Associated Press, staff | October 23, 2013

MADISON — Wisconsin's September home sales were nearly 16 percent higher than in September 2012, continuing 27 months of consecutive growth.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association said 6,026 homes were sold in state last month, compared to 5,202 that were sold the previous September. Wisconsin's year-on-year jump in September sales exceeded the national average increase of 10.7 percent.

The median price of a home in Wisconsin also increased. The price rose 6.7 percent to $144,000 during the month. The median price in September peaked in 2007 at $163,000.

According to the Wisconsin Realtors Association's September 2013 report, in Walworth County the median price of a home rose 11.1 percent, from $135,000 in September of 2012 to $149, 950 to last month.

Sales of homes in Walworth County also were up--25.3 percent to 114 last month, compared to 91 the previous September.

Marquette University economics professor David Clark tells the Journal Sentinel  Wisconsin home sales have shown steady growth, rather than sharp declines and increases.

"If you look at swings in other parts of the country, Wisconsin's housing market is fairly sedate by comparison," said Clark, who analyzes the sales and price data for the Realtors' group. "I think that tends to support a steady growth rather than one that gets overheated and is subject to strong swings on the plus and minus side."

Wisconsin Realtors Association Board Chairman Steve Lane said the state has experienced steady growth even though mortgage rates have increased nearly a full percentage point compared with the same time last year.

According to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac, the national average for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.49% in September, compared with 3.47% in September 2012.

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