Number of homes sold in area was at six-year high for the month
By Ed Nadolski
Editor in Chief
Although January is typically one of the slowest months for home sales, last month bucked that trend and provided a bit more evidence the housing market is in good position for a sustained spring rebound.
The number of homes sold in the area and across the state in January was at a six-year high for the month, according to data released Feb. 18 by the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
The figures showed median prices continuing modest gains, although prices still remain well below the pre-recession levels of 2007.
“The month of January is typically the low-water mark in terms of Wisconsin home sales volume,” said Renny Diedrich, Chairman of the WRA Board of Directors. She noted that January usually accounts for less than 5 percent of the annual sales of existing homes in the state.
“To see existing home sales continue the strong pace established in 2012 bodes well for the spring when the market heats up,” Diedrich said.
Statewide, median prices have grown in 10 of the past 11 months relative to the corresponding month of the previous year, according to the WRA analysis. Not surprisingly, that occurred during a period in which the inventory of unsold homes has steadily declined.
“The good news is that even with minimal growth in family income over the past year, affordability remains high due primarily to very low mortgage rates,” said WRA President and CEO, Michael Theo.
The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index, which measures the percentage of a median-priced home that a buyer with the median family income can afford at current mortgage rates, jumped to 291 in January 2013 compared to a modified 269 in January 2012, according to the WRA.
Here’s a closer look at the January sales figures compiled by the WRA for both the state and local counties:
Number of homes sold in January: 3,460 in 2013, compared to 2,913 in 2012.
Median price of January sales: $123,000 in 2013, compared to $119,000 in 2012.
Number of homes sold in January: 124 in 2013, compared to 90 in 2012.
Median price of January sales: $109,250 in 2013, compared to $106,500 in 2012.
Number of homes sold in January: 155 in 2013, compared to 93 in 2012.
Median price of January sales: $79,000 in 2013, compared to $95,000 in 2012.
Number of homes sold in January: 75 in 2013, compared to 66 in 2012.
Median price of January sales: $128,000 in 2013, compared to $122,440 in 2012.