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Milwaukee area home sales up in December

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee area real estate market ended 2010 with an upswing in home sales but was down for the year.

According to housing statistics released Monday by Metro MLS Inc., December home sales in metropolitan Milwaukee rose 3.5 percent over December 2009. But for the year, home sales in the Milwaukee area were down 13.4 percent.

According to the group, the monthly increase was due to an improvement in market conditions locally compared with a falloff in home sales in December 2009, after the federal homebuyer tax credit had been extended and expanded. Realtors say home buyers took off the month of December 2009, knowing they could get back in the market in the new year.

The group expects the southeastern Wisconsin real estate market to gradually improve.

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