Wis. home sales, prices up in July

Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin jumped 17 percent while the median sale price rose 9 percent in July, a state Realtors group reported Monday.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association said 7,270 homes were sold in the state last month, up from 6,200 in July of 2012.

The statewide median home price increased to $155,299 from $142,500 in July of last year.

Improvement in the economy and jobs were factors in home-buying last month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. But Marquette University economics professor David Clark, who analyzes the sales and price data for the state Realtors group, said rising mortgage rates and concerns that prices are going up also likely played a part.

“I think some people were saying, ‘If we wait too long, it may well be the type of house we’re looking for will become a bit too expensive,'” Clark said.

Through the first seven months of 2013, home sales were up nearly 13 percent and the median sale price had increased by nearly 8 percent in Wisconsin.

“It’s clear that 2013 is shaping up to be a very strong year for Wisconsin housing and the indications are that these trends will continue,” Renny Diedrich, chairman of the state Realtors board, said in statement.

“As long as the state job market continues to improve, we expect the market in the second half of the year to mirror the strong performance we’ve seen in the first half,” Deidrich said.

The median price is the highest for July since 2008, but still far off from the median of $169,000 in July 2007.