Home sales up 27 percent in February

There seems to be no end to complaints about how rough this winter has been, but it appears the misery has not extended to the housing market.

Wisconsin Realtors Association data for February shows existing home sales increased 27 percent in Winnebago County, from 84 in February 2012 to 108 in February 2013. To date, WRA data indicates there have been 244 sales in the county.

ReMax on the Water Realtor Kris Villars said low interest rates and a rebounding market–that still favors buyers a bit more than sellers–have helped the local housing market bounce back strong after hitting the bottom in 2011.

“The market’s coming back a lot stronger. There’s still a lot of inventory out there, too,” Villars said. “But this has probably been our strongest January-February-March in the last five years.”

Villars said home owners who bought during the housing boom of the 2000s who try to sell now will likely find offer sheets below what they paid during the boom. She said that, unfortunately, is the nature of the market correction that has occurred over the last three years.

But Villars did add that Wisconsin’s absence of the highs and lows other markets experience means the negative margins shouldn’t be too large. Still, Streetwise can imagine it’s not easy for a homeowner to find out they won’t get as much as they paid for a home just a few years ago.

In the meantime, Villars said she expects interest rates to stay at their ridiculously low levels for much of 2013, which will help buyers get a little bit more house for their buck.

About Jeff Bollier

Jeff Bollier is an award-winning public affairs reporter for the Oshkosh Northwestern who covers everything from city hall to business. As Streetwise, Jeff delivers updates on the comings and goings of Oshkosh's retail and business world. Jeff is an avid Instagram and Twitter user and a member of the Northwestern Bacon Team.
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