April home sales and prices up in St. Croix CountyThe Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) released statistics on May 21 on member-assisted home sales in April. WRA’s summary shows an improving market in St. Croix County from a monthly and year-to-date (January - April) standpoint.
The Wisconsin Realtors Association (WRA) released statistics on May 21 on member-assisted home sales in April. WRA’s summary shows an improving market in St. Croix County from a monthly and year-to-date (January - April) standpoint.
WRA says 101 sales occurred in St. Croix in April 2012 compared to 87 a year ago, reflecting a 16.1 percent increase. The median price of those homes was estimated at $145,000 compared to $140,000 in April 2011 (+3.6 percent increase). April’s median price for St. Croix homes led WRA’s 12-county west region, and the 101 sales was second to Eau Claire County’s 104 sales. Statewide, there were 5,218 transactions in April compared to 4,365 in April 2011 (+19.5 percent increase) and the median price increased 2.4 percent to $128,000.
Year-to-date (January - April) data from WRA also depicts improvement in St. Croix’s housing market with 325 sales compared to 282 over the same time period in 2011 (+15.2 percent increase). The median price of those sales was estimated at $140,000 compared to $135,000 in the first four months of 2011 (+3.7 percent increase). Both of those statistics led the 12-county west region. Statewide, WRA reported 16,244 sales in the first four months of 2012 (+19.9 percent increase), but the median price declined slightly from $123,400 to $122,000 (a -1.1 percent drop).
WRA is reporting 10 straight months of double-digit sales growth.
“I think it’s safe to say we’ve turned the corner on sales, and we’ve seen some preliminary signals that prices have begun to move upward,” said Michael Theo, president and CEO of WRA.
Theo also noted that realtors are becoming more bullish on prices and pointed to an April survey of nearly 4,500 realtors nationwide which indicated that 78 percent of the survey participants believed residential home prices will either remain constant or will increase over the next 12 months. The March 2012 survey reported 73 percent believed home prices would remain constant or increase over the next year.
Greater St. Croix Valley
April 2012 and year-to-date statistics also show some improvement and some declines in Polk, Pierce, and Dunn counties of west central Wisconsin. Combined with St. Croix, these counties form the Greater St. Croix Valley region of Wisconsin. Dunn County had four fewer sales in April 2012 than in 2011 (45 v. 49), but the median price increased 3.4 percent to $120,000. Year-to-date, sales are up six percent in Dunn, and the median price is up 5.2 percent to $112,000. Thirty (30) WRA transactions were reported in Pierce County during April 2012 compared to 23 a year ago (+30.4 percent), while the median price dropped to $128,500 from April 2011 (-6.5 percent). Year-to-date in Pierce, there were five (5) more transactions in 2012 compared to a year ago (+5.4 percent), but the median price slipped to $126,000 (a -9.3 percent decline). In Polk County, sales were up 63.9 percent in April 2012 compare to a year ago (59 v. 36) and the median price rose 36.8 percent to $87,500. Year-to-date in Polk, transactions increased 36.2 percent (207 v. 152), while the median price declined 7.1 percent from $91,350 in 2011 to $84,900 this year.
Wisconsin’s housing numbers were supported by information released by the National Association of Realtors on May 22. April home sales in the U.S. were estimated at 4.62 million, an increase of 10 percent from one year earlier. According to the NAR, all four of their regions in the U.S. reported increases. April’s median price of $177,400 was up more than then 10 percent from a year ago. CNNMoney tracks housing activity in 384 markets, including
the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MN-WI MSA (includes St. Croix and Pierce counties in Wisconsin). The forecast change in the median price from the second quarter of 2012 to the second quarter of 2013 is a five percent increase for the Twin Cities.
“Housing is a basic need for individuals and families,” said William Rubin, executive director of St. Croix Economic Development Corporation (EDC). “It is also a primary asset for communities. Mortgage rates remain low and inventories are high, making it a good time to buy. The increased activity in St. Croix County suggests that consumers have confidence in an improving economy.”