Realtors: ’09 – ’10 Home Sales ‘Apples and Oranges’

7/19/11 – Wisconsin home sales dropped by over 17-percent in the first half of this year, compared to the first six months of 2010. And the Wisconsin Realtors’ Association said the median price of the homes sold by their members plunged by seven-point-one percent. The median sales price of a home in the Badger State was 130-thousand dollars from January-through-June, down from 140-thousand the year before. But Realtors say the comparisons are like apples-to-oranges, because first-time home buyers were still getting big federal tax credits a year ago that have long expired. The program ended last April, but buyers still received the tax credits if they were in the process of closing their deals. John Hornung of the Realtors’ Association board says it will quote, “be a couple months before the distortions from the federal tax program work their way out of the data.” The group said the smallest sales declines this year have been in northern Wisconsin and the heavily-populated southeast. Hornung says the sales figures from the north are encouraging, and it shows “signs of life” in the market for second homes. For June, home sales dropped 16-percent from last year to just over 55-hundred. The median price last month was 140-thousand dollars – down 10-thousand from a year ago.