Real Estate Rebound

Wisconsin housing market shows continued growth


by Mike Strehlow

Milwaukee--After calling Wauwatosa their home for 23 years, Mike and Mary Beth Pilliod are ready to head Sussex.

"We just felt now is a pretty good time with the market the way it is," said Mike Pilliod. 

Less than a week after putting their home on the market, opportunity has come knocking, more than once for the Pilliods.  "We've had four showings to date, we just got one scheduled for Friday morning."

The Wisconsin Realtors Association reported this week that state sales of existing homes rose 3 percent in March, the 21st consecutive month sales have posted an increase.  Economists say record-low mortgage rates are fueling the increase.  "There's a sense that this is probably the time to jump in," said David Clark, Professor of Economics at Marquette University.

Home builders are also benefitting from the housing bullishness.  Clark said "There's certainly no doubt that things have improved in the new housing construction market."

Cornerstone Development of Southeast Wisconsin owner John Wahlen says in only nine months, he's sold 31 of the 56 ranch-style condo homes at the Glen at Seven Stones in Sussex.  "We've always had some steady success, one or two times a month.  This March we had nine contracts signed here alone."  Wahlen added, "There's a bullishness that we haven't seen in awhile."

What could stall the real estate rebound?  Economists say any sudden surge in mortgage rates, weak job numbers, government spending cuts, and a tight supply of houses for sales.







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