State home sales up nearly 20% in June, with small rise in median price

2012-07-24T06:11:00Z 2012-07-24T16:24:24Z State home sales up nearly 20% in June, with small rise in median priceWisconsin State Journal La Crosse Tribune
July 24, 2012 6:11 am  • 

MADISON — Existing home sales rose again in June statewide and in every region of Wisconsin — for the 12th straight month of year-over-year sales increases — while median sales price was up slightly in most places.

Sales growth was strong statewide, with a 19.3 percent increase compared with June 2011, or from 5,705 to 6,807 sales.

“In a national economy that has not yet seen the kind of growth rates that typify most economic recoveries, it’s encouraging to see such strong growth in home sales over the last 12 months,” said Rob Keefe, chairman of the WRA’s Board of Directors.

Median sales price was up 1.4 percent, to $142,000 from $140,000 last June, the Wisconsin Realtors Association said Monday.

June also was the fourth straight month of year-over-year growth in the statewide median sales price, the report showed.

The price increases started with a 0.4 percent year-over-year rise in March, which was the first statewide increase since late 2010. From January through June, the statewide median price of $130,000 was even with the first half of 2011.

“With 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages falling to 3.68 percent in June, housing in the state remains very affordable,” WRA President and CEO Michael Theo said. “It’s clear conditions are ideal for consumers, and if the economy continues to improve, then we are likely to see continued moderate upward movement in home prices.”

Theo noted, though, that consumer confidence has been lagging lately, potentially putting a damper on the housing market in the months to come.

“Consumer confidence has taken a hit in the last couple of months and the national recovery has been painfully sluggish,” he said, adding that November’s national elections could inject further uncertainty into the housing market.

In the south-central region including Dane County, sales were up 21.7 percent over June 2011 to 1,449. Median price rose 1.2 percent to $170,000.

From January through June, sales in the south-central region were up 19 percent to 5,868, though median price was only even with the same period of 2011, at $155,000.

Traditionally, June is the busiest month of the year for home sales, with about 12 percent typically occurring then, the WRA noted, with nearly half, or 42 percent, of all annual sales occurring from May through August.

“This year seems to be no exception,” Keefe said, “with healthy June home sales remarkably consistent throughout the state.”

By region, the year-over-year sales volume increase ranged from 16.9 percent in the west and central areas of the state to the south-central’s 21.7 percent. Median sales price rose over last June everywhere except the central region, where the price was down 2.2 percent to $110,000.

From January through June, home sales were up by double digits in all regions of Wisconsin, ranging from 14 percent in the north to 24.1 percent in the northeast, compared with the same period of 2011.

Median sales price from January through June by region was mixed compared with the first half of last year, with small rises seen in the west, northeast and north, small drops in the southeast and central, and no change in the south-central region’s median price of $155,000.

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