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Sales by month for 2011 and 2012

Nov 11, 2012
Number of home sales in Wisconsin have increased in 2012 over 2011 for every month and the median price has increased every month except January and February this year. Click Here for a chart from the Wisconsin Realtor's Association showing the month to month number of sales and median prices.

But you are not looking for a home in just anyplace Wisconsin. You're looking for a home here in Platteville Wisconsin and you want to know what is going on in our market. Platteville number of sales The chart above shows the number of single family home sales in the city of Platteville, by month for 2011 and 2012 up through Oct 31st. Platteville Avg price of homesThe chart above shows the average price of all homes sold in the month for 2011 and 2012 through Oct 31st.

Have prices really gone up?

Sept 3, 2012
Prices in the city of Platteville have gone up in 2012 when compared to 2011 but the size of the homes sold have also increased. Because of the lower interest rates buyers are able to buy larger and more expensive homes without increasing their monthly expenses.
Platteville prices compared to size of home
Sales prices have increased 6.5% from 2011 and home size has increased by 2% so the real increase in home value is about 4.5%. What this means is that the value of a given home has not increased as much as it may seem but that the average sale price of homes have increased in part because people are buying bigger homes. These calculations are for homes sold from Sept of the year prior through Aug of the year shown on the chart.

Interest rates at this time last year were 4.22% compared to today's average 3.59% for a 30 year fixed rate loan. That is a reduction in loan rate of 15%. This has had a significant impact on buying power and probably accounts for all of the increase we have seen in price this year.

A Negotiation Tool

July 29, 2012
How much should you offer for a home to start negotiations? How much should you settle for if selling? These are tough questions so here is some data to help you see what other buyers and sellers have done in the recent past. I have compiled a list of single family home sales for the previous 3 years in the price range $170k to $270k in the city of Platteville showing the listing price, selling price and the discount percentage for each sale and for the average sale with emphasis on Days on Market (DOM). Click Here to see the excel spreadsheet.
I can create similar tables with any number of criteria to match your home sale or purchase situation. This information can be very helpful in negotiations. Tell me your criteria and I'll make you a tailored analysis.

April Home Sales Up, Prices Rise Again

May 24, 2012
The National Association of Realtors just announced that April 2012 existing-home sales increased 10 percent over April 2011. This also marks the tenth straight month of year over year gains. The median home price increased 10.1% to $177,400 from April 2011. Click Here for more information.

Free Money from the city of Platteville for Home Repairs, Down Payments

May 9, 2012
The Platteville Housing Program has $180k available in grant money to lend to eligible residents at 0 percent interest to help with home repairs and down payments as part of the Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG). Eligibility requirements include income limits of $33,550 for single to $47,900 for a family of four. Click Here for more information.

If the value of your home has declined look into the Home Affordable Program (HARP)

If you would like to refinance but the banks won't lend because your home's value has declined this program may be able to help you get financing at a good rate. Here are the requirements for eligibility:

-- The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. Click Here to see if your loan is owned by either of these government agencies.

-- The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.

-- The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.

-- The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.

-- The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

What's the down side? The bank and/or government may own part of your home in exchange for your lower rates. Read the fine print carefully.

Federal Reserve expects to keep interest rates at historic lows through 2014

The associated press reported that 11 Fed officials forecast keeping rates where they are until 2014 or later. The same report indicates that although the economy is improving the Fed predicts that the economy will grow 2.4 to 2.9% in 2012 but expects slower growth in 2013 and 2014.

Home buyers will likely turn up their spending this summer due to the historically low interest rates and recently reduced home prices. Both of these factors make homes more affordable for those who can obtain a loan. This shift in buyer habits may even create a temporary shift in the market from a buyer's market today to a more balanced market in coming months. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale now is a good time take advantage of the surge in serious buyers.

Local Housing Market for Platteville and Grant County WI in 2012

A balanced market is generally considered to be a 6 month supply of homes on the market.  If the inventory of homes, (Single Family (SF)  and Condo) on the market exceeds the 6 month tipping point then we call it a buyer's market indicating that buyers have leverage over sellers to gain lower prices.  If the inventory of available homes falls below the 6 month mark we call it a "sellers" market and we would expect to see escalating prices.

Home Sale Statistics for Grant County indicate that 268 Homes were sold in 2011 for a total monthly sales rate of 22.3 homes per month.  Jan 2012 and Jan 2011 both had 17 homes sales so our sale rate for the past 12 months is 22.3 homes per month.

Currently the South Central Wisconsin MLS shows 284 SF Homes and 7 Condos for sale in Grant County for a total of 291 homes.   We would need to sell 48.5 homes per month in order to have a 6 month supply (291 divided by 6).  Since we have been selling only 22.3 homes per month we can see that currently Grant County is still solidly in a buyer's market because the inventory far exceeds the 6 month supply standing at a hefty 13 month supply (assuming our sales rate continues at 22.3 per month).

Home sale statistics for the city of Platteville indicate that 81 homes were sold in 2011 or 6.75 per month.  I don't have the Jan 2012 sales number for Platteville so we'll assume it was similar to Jan 2011. 

Currently the SCWMLS shows 53 SF Homes and 6 condos for sale in the city of Platteville for a total of 59 homes.  We would need to sell 13.5 homes per month in order to have a 6 month supply (59 divided by 6).  Since we have been selling only 6.75 homes per month we can see that currently the city of Platteville is also in a buyer's market because the inventory exceeds the 6 month supply standing at 8.74 months.  This shows that the market in the city of Platteville is more stable than the surrounding areas but that it is still at risk of price decline.

Different locations around the country have different situations so it is important to look at local statistics.  In researching home values I almost always find conflicting reports of trend analysis.  An example of this is the current Century 21 Market Update and the Feb 29, 2012 Wall Street Journal article "Where Housing is Headed".  While Century 21's update shows an overall positive outlook the Wall Street Journal article seems pessimistic in most of it's tone.  However both reports show that different areas have been affected differently by recent market shifts.  For example the WSJ graphs show that Denver has only a 3.9 month supply of homes indicating that sellers can ask higher prices while Charlotte North Carolina's supply is at 12 months warning sellers to expect lower prices. 

Conclusion:  Grant County WI is in a buyer's market.  This is no surprise for anyone who has been watching the market lately but these statistics confirm what we were all thinking.  If you have a home on the market and are serious about selling you should price your home to beat out the competition or risk losing the sale to another homeowner.   Inside the city limits of Platteville owners can expect better pricing strength than surrounding areas but our 8.7 month supply indicates further weakness in prices.

Bill Introduced to "help" underwater homeowners


On Feb 9 Senator Robert Menendez introduced a bill that would "help" homeowners stay in their homes by giving up a portion of their future home appreciation to their bank. If you are considering taking this deal remember that the bank will own a portion of "your" home. If you decide to replace the roof or build a sunroom or garage space the bank will want a portion of that too. Click Here to read more about the bill.

Federal Government settlement


Last week the US Government reached a settlement with banks that might free the logjam of foreclosures that have been held up in the past year. What does this mean locally? We can expect to see banks gradually release the logjam so they don't flood the market with foreclosure homes further depressing prices. If you have been forced out of your home you should read this article. You may be due some of the settlement funds. If you are in the market for REO properties this is a good time to watch the listings for new properties. You can search distressed property listings using the links on my buyers page. Apply for your portion of this settlement at

Housing's Rise and Fall since 2000


On Jan 31 the November figures were released for the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Home Price Index for 20 major metropolitan areas. Click Here to see a chart depicting the trend of the Case-Shiller Index since 2000.

Current Narratives

Current Statistics

National Trends and News

Click Here for current mortgage loan rates in Grant County WI