April home sales up in metro Milwaukee, state

Boosted by the $6,500 federal homebuyer tax credit, home sales in the four county metropolitan Milwaukee area rose 36.4 percent in April, compared to April of 2009, according to Metro MLS Inc. data. For the entire state, home sales were up 16 percent in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2009, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
Median home prices in the state held steady, increasing by less than 0.1 percent in the first quarter.
In April home sales increased in Milwaukee County by 31.5 percent, in Waukesha County by 54.2 percent, in Ozaukee County by 40.7 percent and in Washington County by 25.0 percent. For the entire four county region there were 1,555 home sales in April, compared to 1,140 in April of 2009.
During the first quarter the average home sale price was $134,527 in Milwaukee County, up from $116,928 in the first quarter of 2009; $142,931 in Kenosha County, down from $162,135 in 2009; $280,915 in Ozaukee County, down from $298,991 in 2009; $131,345 in Racine County, down from $150,128 in 2009; $222,350 in Walworth County, up from $211,710 in 2009; $198,786 in Washington County, down from $204,965 in 2009 and $267,419 in Waukesha County, up from $260,141 in 2009.
“Many brokers believe that the tax credit brought business forward into April, but the big question remains: will the market slow down now?” said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR). “Only time will provide the answer to that question, but with consumer confidence rising, favorable interest rates, low prices, and plenty of inventory, the GMAR expects the rest of 2010 to be fairly decent for home sellers, but the market will remain a buyers market.”

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