Why Sell Now?
It may be a wise move to list your home before the predicted increase in mortgage rates.
View this title and many more. We feature a variety of videos with tips to help make your home buying/selling/ownership process easier...and this month we're focusing on ways to spruce up your home for sale as well as tips for buyers! Visit our video channel for tips on staging your home for sale, finding the right location, learning about contingencies and more!
February marked the 20th straight month of double-digit growth in sales of existing homes in Wisconsin, with sales up 11.7 percent compared to February 2012. Median home prices also grew to $122,000 in February, which represents a solid 6.1 percent rate of growth compared to February last year, according to statistics released by the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association (WRA).
"There are strong seasonal patterns in Wisconsin home sales, and the vast majority of homes sell between April and September, but we've had a very good housing market over the past winter," said Renny Diedrich, Chairman of the WRA board of directors. Specifically, comparing the most recent December, January and February sales figures to those same months a year earlier, home sales increased 14.5 percent.
Median prices in the state rose a solid 6.1 percent in February relative to February 2012 and were up 6.7 percent over the most recent winter months compared to the previous December through February period. This is well above the rate of inflation, which has averaged between 1.7 and 2.2 percent over the last three months of 2012, and just 1.6 percent in January. "While we don't think that housing prices will continue to grow at nearly three times the rate of inflation, it's clear that the Wisconsin home market has been tightening, and housing is likely to be a good way to accumulate household wealth going forward," said WRA president and CEO Michael Theo.
Although state inventory levels increased slightly compared to last month, they are still 13.1 percent below the levels of February 2012. "We've seen a consistent pattern of declining inventories, and the state now has 8.6 months of supply," said Theo. Still, housing affordability remains high. "With tightening inventories, housing prices should continue to rise, which will undoubtedly reduce affordability, so this is a great time to use an experienced REALTOR® to help identify the best value in this market," said Theo.
According to Fiserv, a financial services technology provider using data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, home prices are expected to rise at least 3.3 percent annually through 2017.
The thought of remodeling your home might be tempting. After all, any number of popular TV programs and encouraging articles make home remodeling look like a piece of cake. But before you start measuring walls and making demolition plans, Dan Fritschen, founder of www.remodelormove.com, encourages you to stop a moment and really consider what you're about to jump into. Before you launch into your own project, ask yourself these questions:
Get a free online evaluation of your energy usage—and personalized recommendations for upgrades that can save you money at http://hes.lbl.gov/consumer