August 14, 2008

Home sales better here than most of state, region

Racine County home prices dropped less than one percent -- they were down only .8% -- in the second quarter of 2008, compared to 2007, but 14.6% fewer homes were sold than last year. The median price of a Racine County home was $163,600 this year, compared to $165,000 last year; 572 homes were sold in the second quarter, compared to 670 during the same three-month period in 2007.

Those figures come from the Wisconsin Realtors Association, which reported today on sales throughout the state.

Both of our figures were better than the state as a whole, and the nation as a whole. Wisconsin home sales fell 20.7% in the quarter; nationwide, home sales were down 16.3%. Wisconsin’s median prices fell 3 percent to $162,200 in the second quarter of 2008 as compared to the second quarter of 2007.

“It is clear that consumer concerns over the direction of the economy have kept a lot of buyers on the sidelines,” said WRA Chairman Michael Spranger. “Our hope is that buyers and sellers recognize that every market is unique and every market offers opportunities.”

“In a soft market like the current one, we expect some moderation in prices,” said William Malkasian, president of the WRA. “Given the relatively large reduction in sales volume in the second quarter, it’s encouraging that our prices here in Wisconsin have declined only modestly.”

Racine's median home price decline, in fact, was the least of all eight counties, and Metro Milwaukee, in the WRA's Southeast region. The median price decline in Walworth County was 6.7%, and in Kenosha it was 3.8%. Walworth's sales declined by 32.1%; Kenosha's by 25.3%. Complete county-by-county figures for the entire state are HERE.

The WRA, which represents 17,000 real estate brokers, sales people and affiliates statewide, says there is no consensus regarding buyer interest in the third quarter of 2008 vs. 2007, "but there is strong belief that sellers have become more motivated."

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