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Business & Economics

Home Sales Remain Strong In Northwoods; Inventory Tight Elsewhere

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The Northwoods continues to be a top bargain for home buyers as the rest of Wisconsin is finding a sellers market and rising prices.

October existing home sales fell 2 percent compared to last October, and the median selling price rose 5 percent to $182,500. Through the first 10 months of the year, home sales also fell 2 percent compared to a year ago, and median prices were up 6.4 percent to $184,000.

Economist David Clark works with the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

He says consumers have money to spend on housing...

"....We have a strong labor market and strong demand conditions for housing. If you look at consumer confidence, a strong barometer of how consumers are feeling, that's at an 18-year high. The consumers are feeling good about the current and future prospects for the economy...."

Clark says mortgage rates have inched up a bit but remain historically low.

While homes for sale in many parts of Wisconsin are fewer than before, the Northwoods has more inventory and more sales have happened...

"...as a result, sales volume for the first ten months of this year is 3.1 percent higher than that same time last year...."

North regional totals find the median prices up 5 percent from a year ago to 158,000. Sales were up 12 percent from 2017. The median price in Vilas county is $229,000, in Oneida its $183,000 and Forest county its $112,000.

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