Statewide home sales finished out 2014 strong, although they were still down overall from the year before.
Figures released by the Wisconsin Realtors Association show sales of existing homes were up 2.1 percent in December, over the same month in 2013. Economist David Clark says that helped close out 2014 on a good note, even though overall year-end numbers were down about 1.5 percent from the year before.
Clark notes that 2013 was a strong year for home sales. He also blames some of the drop on a poor start to 2014, when record cold temperatures kept many people from looking for new homes. Clark says “our sales dropped off rather significantly in the first quarter of the year, and they really didn’t start recovering until we go into June.”
While the cold may have only delayed some purchases, Clark still believes it shaved a few percentage points off the overall total for the year.
Even though sales were down, prices did continue to climb back up through the year. Clark says the statewide median price ended 2014 at $148,000, which was up about 3.1 percent from the year before.
Foreclosure rates also saw a big drop in 2014, falling 26 percent. That put them back at pre-recession levels.