Milwaukee area home sales down 11.9 percent in February

Milwaukee area home sales were down 11.9 percent in February, compared to February of 2008, according to the latest housing statistics released Tuesday by Metro MLS Inc.
"The decrease in sales figures was expected given the chaotic economic news we are hearing about each day from Washington DC and Wall Street," said Mike Ruzicka, president of the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).

February could be seen as an improvement compared to January, when home sales in the metro area were down 32.2 percent compared to January of 2007.

"The GMAR believes that the market in southeastern Wisconsin has put the majority of the housing correction behind it, faring much better than most other markets in the nation. What we are experiencing now is a market that has plateaued at a more affordable level, but will experience slight ups and downs until the overall economy recovers."

The buyers market has discouraged homeowners from trying to sell. February was the 22nd consecutive month in which listings were down compared to the previous year, down 6.2 percent compared to 2007.

"Listings should increase as we head into the spring selling market," Ruzicka said.

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