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Western region bucking statewide trend in home sales

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While the rest of the Wisconsin is experiencing a drop in home sales over 2006, the western region is seeing a 6.5 percent growth.

That's according to a quarterly housing report by the Wisconsin Realtors Association®.

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WRA reports that across the state home sales dropped by 6.5 percent, but that was after record highs set during the same period in 2006.

Meanwhile home sales in Pierce County grew by a whopping 20 percent in 2007 over the same period last year.

"The Wisconsin housing market may have softened, but to keep things in perspective this is the third best first quarter we've ever had," said Roger Rushman, WRA chairman.

WRA reports in the western region sales actually grew 5.9 percent over the first quarter of 2007.

Pierce County led the pack, and in St. Croix County the growth was at 8 percent.

The news in Polk County was just the opposite. There home sales dropped by 19 percent.

However, Eau Claire County saw sales jump by 11.9 percent; Dunn County was up by 4.1 percent.

The report groups Buffalo, Pepin and Trempealeau counties together and those counties also saw a 4.1 percent jump.

Chippewa County saw a 4.1 percent drop in sales in the first quarter of 2007.

One of the reasons home sales may be up in the region is that prices are remaining steady or dropping.

The report shows that in the western region the median price of a home jumped by just 1.1 percent to $151,700 in the first quarter of 2007.

That 1.1 percent is equal to the rest of the state where the median price of a home is now $160,000.

For St. Croix County the report found that there was a 1.1 percent increase with the median home selling for $198,200.

Meanwhile in Pierce County the median price dropped 4.9 percent to $178,200. Dunn County also dropped, down 3.3 percent to $138,800.

Polk County saw an increase of 9.7 percent to $148,900.

In Eau Claire County the median sales price jumped 6.3 percent to $138,900 and in Chippewa County the price also jumped 3.3 percent to $136,000.

It was bad news for home sellers in the Buffalo, Pepin, and Trempealeau counties. Home prices there dropped dramatically 25.6 percent with the median home going for just $93,800.

"This represents a good time for new buyers to get into this market, given that 30-year conventional mortgage rates have fallen more than half a percent since July of last year, and home inventories are up in many areas of the state," said William Malkasian, WRA president.

The full report can be seen online at www.wra.org.

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