MADISON - While home sales continued to improve
during February, it was the median prices of existing homes that saw
the greatest increase last month, according to data released Monday.
An analysis of the statewide housing market by the
Wisconsin Realtors Association indicated home sales in February 2015
grew 1.8 percent compared to February 2014, and median prices
increased 6.1 percent to $137,900 compared to that same period.
The median home price in Waukesha County in February
was $239,000, an increase of 12.3 percent compared to the median
home price of $212,750 in February 2014. In addition, 245 homes sold
in February, compared to 214 in February 2014, a 14.5 percent
increase, according to the WRA data.
Milwaukee County saw an increase of 18.5 percent for
median home prices in February, but a decline of 10.1 percent in
home sales, both when compared to February 2014. The median home
price last month in Milwaukee County was $112,000 -18.5 percent more
than the median price of $94,500 in February 2014; however, only 490
homes sold last month in Milwaukee County compared to 545 for the
same period the year before.
The statewide median price rose to $137,900 in
February, which is a 6.1 percent increase compared to February 2014.
Last month was the second straight month of median price
appreciation in excess of 6 percent, according to the WRA.
When home sales from December 2014 through February
2015 are compared with the same period in the previous year, winter
home sales are up about 1.2 percent.
“While the state is moving in the right direction,
it’s important to remember that sales last year were hampered by
very cold temperatures, and so this is really only a slight
improvement,” Dan Kruse, WRA board chairman, in a statement. “We’re
hoping to see a bounce in sales moving into the spring and summer -
the two seasons where we sell the most homes.”
According to the WRA, typically the three winter
months account for about 16.9 percent of annual home sales compared
to 27.1 percent of annual sales that happen from March until May,
and 32 percent that occur between June and August.
“In fact, home prices have consistently risen over
the last three years,” said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo in a
statement, adding median prices have been rising on an annual basis
for 35 of the last 36 months. Since February 2012, prices have risen
20 percent. This three-year price appreciation is due in part to