Home sales in Wisconsin rallied in the fourth quarter of last year.

The number of sales of existing homes for 2009 increases to 2008 levels. That’s according to the year-end analysis from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

“The fourth quarter of ’09 shows a dramatic increase in sales over the fourth quarter of ’08 with a 25% increase in sales, which is a pretty high number in the real estate industry.”

The group’s president Bill Malkasian says the spike in sales could be attributed to the impact of the first time home buyer’s tax credit, which had originally expired on Nov 30, causing many would-be buyers to act quickly before they missed their opportunity. That credit has since been extended to April 30th of this year.

Malkasian says other factors for the jump in sales were low interest rates and many houses from which to choose. The report shows home prices were down 7.7% last year compared to the year before — to $143,000. However, Wisconsin prices declined less than other areas of the country, because we never had the inflated bubble that other states had.

While sales jumped in the second half of the year, the first half was down significantly. In the end, Malkasian says, it all evened out — 2009 home sales were unchanged from 2008. Sellers have reason to be optimistic in this coming year. He predicts 2010 is going to be a good year. Visit WisconsinHomeBuyer.org for more information.

Jackie Johnson report 1:44

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