Region’s housing market slumps in first quarter

The southeastern Wisconsin housing market got off to a sluggish start to 2011.

The number of homes sold in the 8 county region was down 4 percent in the first quarter, compared to the first quarter of 2010, according to data from the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors (GMAR).

The average value of a home sold in the 8 county region was $159,350, down significantly from the 2010 average sale price of $185,792 and the 2009 average sale price of $179,970.

The 2010 housing market was artificially inflated by the federal government’s homebuyer tax credits.

Realtors hope to see the housing market improve later in the year.

“The coming months should be similar to what we saw in this month’s report: an improving economic and employment climate leading to a more robust real estate market, but statistically appearing to be down due to the artificial, but welcomed, stimulus the federal tax credits provided in 2010,” said Mike Ruzicka, GMAR president. “The market needed the added stimulus of the tax credits in 2010, however, today it is strong enough to stand on its own two feet.”

Many sellers have accepted the current market conditions have are adjusting their pricing to be more realistic, Ruzicka said.

The metro Milwaukee area housing market has 12.5 months of inventory, down from a 17.9-month inventory in February.

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