Home prices rise in state

The average price of homes sold in Wisconsin rose in March by 0.4 percent, compared to March of 2011, to $123,500, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA).

However, prices continue to fall in southeastern Wisconsin and were down 3.1 percent in March to $127,000, according to the WRA. The only southeastern Wisconsin counties with home price increases in March were Walworth, up 28 percent to $132,500, and Waukesha, up 0.4 percent to $208,350.

The number of homes sold increased significantly in March, with a 25 percent increase statewide and a 24.3 percent increase in southeastern Wisconsin.

“We’ve seen very strong growth in home sales over the last nine months,” said Rob Keefe, chairman of the WRA board of directors. “These are the strongest signals we have seen in some time going into the spring selling season.”

Inventory levels of homes on the market are on the decline, according to the WRA. After peaking at just under 72,000 unsold homes in July 2011, the state has averaged 52,758 unsold homes over the first three months of this year.

“Putting a dent in the stock of unsold homes is key to home price appreciation, and we saw median prices grow in four of the six regions statewide,” said Michael Theo, WRA president and chief executive officer.

The strongest appreciation in median home prices was in the north region, where median prices rose 10.5 percent in March to $105,000.

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