Home sales up in state, making a comeback in Rock Co.

Consumer Reports: Insider tips for home buyers and sellers

Wisconsin home sales are up more than 11 percent for the first half of 2013 and what sellers are asking is also increasing.

The current median home price is about $140,000 and 12 percent more homes were sold in Dane County in June compared to the same time last year.

Iowa County saw one of the largest increases in prices and sales and Dodge County didn’t see any change in home sales. Jefferson County spiked 9 percent for sales and 10 percent for the asking price.

It was a bit of a mixed bag in Columbia County, where residents were asking more but actual sales dropped about 7.2 percent. There was a similar situation in Rock County, where prices went up 10 percent but sales dropped 11 percent.

Realtors say the housing market in Rock County is making a comeback and that’s good news for people looking to sell their home.

After 14 years in Janesville’s Wuthering Hills Neighborhood, Todd Berg and his family are selling their four-bedroom, three-bath home. The curb appeal reflects the family’s passion for gardening.

“We spent a lot of time working in the gardens, the pergola, the hot tub, and the fountains. We enjoyed the outdoors and that’s one of the neatest things about the house,” said Berg.

The Bergs seem to be entering the market at the right time. Selling prices in Rock County are up about 10 percent.

“Sales are up quite a bit. Our median home price snuck up to $124,000, which is great. Five years ago we couldn’t say that,” said Colleen Nelson, president of the Rock Green Realtors Association.

Nelson said the market is beginning to balance out. About 20 fewer homes have sold compared to this time last year, but she said that’s still good news.

Nelson said trends in Dane County’s housing market tend to make their way to Rock County.

Home sales up in state, making a comeback in Rock Co.

“Their sales for this year we’ll probably hit next year. I know it sounds silly, but we’ve always been, even when our market was doing fantastic, we’ve always been about a year behind what they’re doing,” said Nelson.

Another sign things are rebounding are the number of bank-owned properties. There are about 30 percent fewer now than this time last year.

Nelson also said many local agents, including at her First Weber Office on Holiday Drive, are seeing an increase in agents returning to the real estate industry.

Berg said there’s been a lot of interest in his home during the five weeks it’s been on the market.

“As I see more and more houses coming for sale, especially in our neighborhood here, they’re selling pretty quickly,” said Berg.

He’s optimistic going into the next open house.

“Whether it’s buying a new house or a new car or vacationing, you’re starting to see a lot of people do that again and that gives you a lot of optimism,” said Berg.