So how is the market? Is anything even selling around Madison?

"Is anything actually selling?" That's a question I heard from a recent customer. "I've heard from other Realtors that the only thing selling is under $250,000 because of the home buyer credit. What about $300,000 and up? Are any of those homes even selling?"

This comment got me thinking a little bit because I think it resonates with something that people ask me often. "so how's the market?" In an effort to explain this question, I'm planning to explore what properties have sold in the past two weeks in Dane County.

According to the South Central Wisconsin Multiple Listing database, there were 229 homes sold in the past two weeks ranging from $45,000 for a fixer upper on the east side of Madison to $925,000 for a beautiful home on Lake Mendota off University Ave. Out of these 229, there were 170 that were priced at $250,000 or below. Clearly, the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit is having an impact, since 74% are in a price range where most first time home buyers land.

Another area of interest, might be to look at properties that sell in Madison versus outside of Madison (Middleton, Sun Prairie, etc.). Out of the 229 sales, there were 117 in the City of Madison, while 112 were outside of Madison. The two most popular suburb's (in terms of most sales) during this time period was Sun Prairie with 18 and Fitchburg with 12 sales.

Next I looked at what is the most popular style of home: ranch, bungalow, colonial, tudor, tri-level, bi-level, victorian, contemporary, cape cod, bungalow, etc. The overwhelming majority of homes sold were ranch style homes, registering 82 of the 229. Recording the fewest sales were victorian style at only two. This strikes me as somewhat odd, because I have spoken with a number of people that tell me, "I really like older homes with lots of character." In most cases, I would consider an old victorian home to have these characteristics. Yet, in terms of actual sales, these are clearly in the minority. Perhaps there's a market for newer victorian homes with lots of character?

The last area that came to my attention was to look at homes sold in various neighborhoods. Since Madison Magazine recently put together an article about "Great Neighborhoods", I thought it would be interesting to see how the actual sales line up with some of the "Great Neighborhoods in Madison." The majority of homes sold listed "N/A" or "none" as a subdivision with 40 falling in this category, meaning there was no easily identifiable neighborhood. However, of homes that did list the subdivision the winner was Ridgewood with five homes. Then there was a four-way tie between Westwynde, University Heights, Sunset Village, and Orchard Ridge, all recording four homes from each area.

To answer the question, "Is anything actually selling?", the obvious answer is yes. Homes are selling throughout Dane County in a variety of neighborhoods and price ranges. If you are considering buying a home there's approximately 2761 homes to choose from and in the next two weeks, there could be roughly 229 sales (if the next two weeks are similar to the last two weeks). Based on these numbers (229/2761), from a home seller's perspective, there's roughly an 8% chance of selling a single family home in the next two weeks.

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