With colder temperatures and serious snowfall continuing into March, home sales dropped for the third consecutive month in Wisconsin, according to the latest statistics released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA). Compared with March 2013, home sales declined 11.3% in March, which rounded out a weaker first quarter, where first-quarter sales fell an overall 8.5%. Steve Lane, WRA board chairman, stated, “Even with spring officially arriving in the middle of March, the spring selling season has been slow to gather steam.” One important comparison to note is that first-quarter sales remain above the levels of 2012, a year that had a relatively mild winter. “We are hopeful that the spring thaw will jump-start the selling season that traditionally gains momentum in the second quarter,” said Lane.
Median prices rose in March and the first quarter, bringing positive news that indicates the overarching health of the real estate market. Median prices were up by 1.9% in March, but first quarter rate of appreciation was somewhat higher at 4.2%, thanks largely to the 7.2% median price increase during February. This moderate price growth helps keep homes affordable after the more rapid price increases we saw throughout 2013, and at $136,500, Wisconsin’s median home prices are well below the national level of $189,000.
Categories: Quarterly Newsletter