Wisconsin housing market soars in 2016

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Wisconsin home sales soared to a record number in 2016, but what does the 2017 market look like?

Throughout the state, 81,000 homes were sold in 2016 marking the largest number in Wisconsin’s history, according to Mike Theo, President of the Wisconsin Realtors Association. How did we fare locally?

In Western Wisconsin, the number of homes sold jumped up almost 6% from 2015 to 2016: that following a surge from 2014 to 2015 with high sales. But how easy will it be to sell your home in 2017?

Selling houses in 2016 was fairly easy, according to Theo: low 30-year, fixed mortgage rates are a big reason for that, but he says those rates are on their way up. So if you’re looking to sell, sell soon.

“Interest rates right now: they’re at historic lows,” Marty Tauger, the President of the Realtors Association of Northwest Wisconsin, said. “They were in the low-to-mid 3s and now they’re back up around 4%. “If you’re going to sell your house, you might as well do it now. We need the inventory. I think there’s going to be lots of opportunities and they may not be there 2018 if the rates go up to where they think they’re going to go.”

Eau Claire County saw about 50 fewer homes sold in 2016 than in 2015, partially because of the small inventory.

“We have a very tight supply of homes on the market,” Mike Theo, the President of the Wisconsin Realtors Association, said. “Had we had more, we probably would’ve sold more in 2016. The available homes in the state dropped to close to 33,000. That tight supply is going to continue to put upward pressure on prices.”

Over 12,000 more homes were sold in Wisconsin in 2016 compared to 2014, and 5,000 more in 2016 than 2015. In Eau Claire County, there were 50 fewer homes sold in 2016, a 2.8% decrease from 2015, but the market is still surging compared to 2014.

One local home buyer said he lucked out when it came to interest rates. The day after he locked one in, they jumped up.

“It’s kind of a crazy market, so if you’re interested make it quick,” Greg Maas, who recently bought a home in Altoona, said. “Don’t sit around and wait because we missed a couple just sitting around and waiting.”

The 2017 market is expected to stay on par with the growth 2016 saw, which is around 6-7% throughout the state.

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