April 23. 2012 10:45AM

Wisconsin housing market improves again

Existing home sales in Wisconsin were up significantly in March, with home sales growing 25 percent over the levels of March 2011, according to the latest monthly report by the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA).

Home prices in March also rose slightly for the first time since the end of 2010, up 0.4 percent to $123,500, compared with the same month last year.
“We certainly had a mild winter, and that may account for some of the strength in home sales last month, but it’s important to note that we’ve seen very strong growth in home sales over the last nine months,” said Rob Keefe, chairman of the WRA board of directors.
Keefe pointed out that all regions of the state were up in March, and most saw growth in the range of 24 percent to 33 percent. The Northeast and the Central regions grew at approximately 32 percent over the period, whereas three other regions — North, South Central and Southeast — were up between 24.3 percent and 27.9 percent over the period. Finally, the West region was up eight percent in March 2012 relative to March 2011.
“These are the strongest signals we have seen in some time going into the spring selling season,” said Keefe, who noted that the combination of low rates and modest improvements in the job market should support continued growth in sales.
The WRA says an improving state jobs market is helping home sales.
“It’s encouraging to see job growth in the state, especially in relatively high-paying sectors,” said
Michael Theo, WRA president and chief executive officer.