La Crosse County house sales on the rise - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

La Crosse County house sales on the rise

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Real estate agents are calling it a "sellers market."

For the past 26 months, home sales in Wisconsin have gone up, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Since interest rates are around 4 percent, which is relatively low considering the past few years, more people are looking to buy homes, said Michael Pietrek, president of the La Crosse Area Realtors Association.

"We saw a lot of happy campers that were working," he said, adding sales in Wisconsin are continuing to rise.

In La Crosse County, year-to-date sales in 2013 are at 972 houses, a 17 percent increase from 831 houses in 2012.

In August 2013, the median price of a home in La Crosse County was $158,450. That's over $3,000 more than the state average of $152,000, according to the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

"The fact that people are buying homes now seems to indicate that they're feeling more comfortable now; maybe about the state of the whole economy, or about their position," said Dr. John Robinson, an associate business professor at Viterbo University.

Robinson said part of that confidence is that there's been a strong manufacturing recovery here in the Midwest. The other part: loans are low.

"Everybody can understand a low payment, right? And also they've been moving up a little bit. And so (potential buyers) think, 'If I don't buy now, my payment might go up so now's the time,'" Robinson said.

Pietrek said La Crosse County's housing industry wasn't hit as hard by the economic recession, which is why the market didn't dip too much.

"I mean we were affected. It impacted our business, it impacted our industry, here. But I don't think it impacted it to the extreme we've seen in other places," he said.

Housing sales are down in La Crosse County in August. A large part of that is because inventory is down since so many people are buying homes," according to Pietrek.

He said sales were highest in May and June, that's when kids out of school, so more families are looking to move.

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