While there's no shortage of uncertainty regarding what 2011 will bring, one thing is certain: 2010 was yet another "transition year." Patience is running thin during this painstakingly slow recovery. According to closely watched indices, national home sales hit bottom in the first quarter of 2009 and prices followed suit shortly thereafter. As the bull gets set to wrestle the bear to the ground in 2011, let's take a look at how we concluded 2010.
Pending Sales in the Milwaukee region decreased 8.1 percent since December 2009 to arrive at 532 contracts written. Meanwhile, New Listings decreased 5.6 percent to 1,177 new homes. Total Active Listings increased 2.6 percent from year-ago levels to weigh in at 10,550.
Prices were still soft in December. Median Sales Price decreased 2.2 percent versus last December, checking in at $170,000. Market times increased 13.3 percent to 120 days.
You might have noticed that interest rates are stealthily ticking upwards. Yes, higher rates are expected in 2011 as we press toward a more durable recovery. This recovery is hinged upon continued labor market growth coupled with supply-side and demand-side housing market improvements. This wet, windowless basement of a recession has been cold and daunting, but a neon exit sign beckons from our periphery.
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