Home sales

Existing home sales in Wisconsin continued to rebound in July, for the 13th month in a row of rising sales and the fifth straight month of modest median price increases.

Sales rose over the same month last year in every region of the state, for a 17.3 percent increase overall and a 2.1 percent year-over-year rise in median price, to $143,000. There were 6,023 sales in Wisconsin in July, compared with 5,133 in July 2011.

You can see the full report here.

State sales increases also outpaced year-over-year rises in the nation and the Midwest region in the second quarter of this year, or from April through June.

The National Association of Realtors pegged home sales up by 8.6 percent nationally over the second quarter of last year, while sales in the Midwest were up 16.2 percent during that period. Wisconsin’s second-quarter rise was 21.3 percent.

“While the pace of the national economic recovery has been weak this year, Wisconsin home sales have rebounded nicely over the past year,” said Rob Keefe, chairman of the Wisconsin Realtors Association board. “The July sales figures continued this trend of robust growth in home sales.”

From January through July, Wisconsin home sales were up 20.4 percent to 35,405 compared to the same period of 2011, while the statewide median sales price rose by 0.4 percent, to $132,000, the WRA said.

WRA President Michael Theo attributed July’s year-over-year median price increase in Wisconsin to fewer homes for sale.

“We were sitting on nearly 18 months of inventory in July of 2011, and that has fallen to just under 13 months,” Theo said.

However, that still represents a buyer advantage, with about six months of inventory considered a balanced market, and with mortgage rates still at record-lows, Theo noted.

In the south-central region including Dane County, sales were up 21.3 percent over July 2011 to 1,311. The median sales price fell 1.8 percent year-over-year to $165,000.

From January through July, sales in the south-central region were up 19.8 percent to 7,203, from 6,014 in the same period last year.

Median sales price year-to-date in the south-central region through July was almost even with that period last year, at $157,000 compared to $158,000, for a 0.6 percent drop.

Home sales also grew over last July in every section of Wisconsin, ranging from 23.3 percent in the central region to 4.2 percent in the north. The median sales price rose over last July in four regions — the southeast, west, central and north, while falling slightly in the south-central and northeast.

From January through July, home sales were up by double digits in all regions of Wisconsin, ranging from 12.3 percent in the north to 23.7 percent in the southeast, compared with the same period of 2011.

And the median sales price from January through July by region was mixed compared with the same period last year, with small drops in the southeast, south-central and central regions, and small increases in the west and north.

In the northeast, median price stood even at $118,000 compared with the same period last year.

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Karen Rivedal is the education beat reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.