Miseries persist in the housing industry, but a Badger State exec holds out hope. The housing industry continues to hit new lows, but that means it's a "buyer's market," IF you qualify. So says Wisconsin Realtors Association President Bill Malkasian. "Prices are very reasonable. Sellers are very anxious to sell. You have a great volume of property to chose from, and interest rates are at five percent or below," said Malkasian.
It's going to take time for the housing market to recover, but Malkasian says it won't take as long here as in California, Texas, and Nevada, which have the highest foreclosure rates in the nation. "Prices never went up (in Wisconsin) as much as the rest of the country, and yes, we have foreclosure rates that are probably at higher then normal levels, but they're certainly not anywhere near the national levels," Malkasian said. "And more importantly, the median price in this state has not dropped dramatically like you're reading about in the rest of the country."
Not many new houses are being built, though. Home construction in Dane County remains at record low levels, according to the latest reports. But Malkasian is optimistic there will be a turnaround at the end of this year or early next year, especially if the federal stimulus package does its job.
"If I had a crystal ball and I could just simply announce a date, I would do that in a second," said Malkasian. "I don't. My guess is that as we start to turn the corner and see the impact of the federal stimulus package, we should start to see some turnaround by the end of this year and the first part of 2010."