November 21. 2012 2:00AM

Area home prices rose in October

  
The prices of homes sold in southeastern Wisconsin, and in the entire state, rose in October as the number of homes sold also continues to increase significantly, according to the latest data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

The median price for homes sold in southeastern Wisconsin rose 4.7 percent in October to $145,000, compared to $138,500 in October of 2011. The number of homes sold in the region were up 31.9 percent in the month compared to October of 2011.

County by county breakdown:
Ozaukee: $213,500, up 13.9 percent
Washington: $186,000, up 10.7 percent
Milwaukee: $98,000, up 7.7 percent
Walworth: $150,000, up 5.6 percent
Sheboygan: $112,750, down 0.6 percent
Waukesha: $225,500, down 2.2 percent
Racine: $108,000, down 6.1 percent
Kenosha: $103,250, down 19.6 percent

Statewide median home sale prices were up 3.5 percent to $134,500 in October, and number of homes sold during the month was up 29.4 percent, compared to October of 2011.

"While it's tempting to focus on the magnitude of the increase last month, I think the more important point is that prices have been consistently increasing since March of this year," said WRA President and CEO Michael Theo.

"There is no doubt that October was a very strong month for sales, which followed a more moderate pace of growth in September, so it may be that some of the sales typically seen in September spilled over into October this year," said Renny Diedrich, chairman of the WRA board of directors. "I think we're seeing a continuation of the trends we've seen all year, which is especially encouraging given the slow growth in the national economy."

The statewide inventory of homes on the market has fallen from 15.6 months (the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market) a year ago to 10.2 months in October. The market still favors buyers, but is becoming more balanced, Theo said.

"The statewide foreclosure picture in the state has been improving, and we've got modest
increases in home prices combined with record-low mortgage rates, which keeps Wisconsin a very affordable home market," said Theo.

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