Industry News

Wisconsin real estate smashes sales record

Realtors attribute growth to low rates, job gains

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Wisconsin's residential home sales set another annual record as existing-home sales in the fourth quarter of 2005 remained near the all-time-high pace established in the fourth quarter of last year, according to the most recent analysis conducted by the Wisconsin Realtors Association. Sales of existing homes in Wisconsin for the fourth quarter totaled an estimated 30,075 units, which is nearly unchanged from the strongest fourth quarter on record, which occurred in 2004. Indeed, existing-home sales in Q4 2005 were just 0.3 percent off the Q4 2004 pace. "This is an amazing market," said WRA Chairman Jeff Kitchen. "That home sales stayed near their fourth-quarter 2004 levels even as mortgage rates inched upward in recent months is a true testament to the strength of this market," said Kitchen. The two most important factors driving this market are still-low interest rates and strong job growth, and he noted that although conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages were up slightly from t...