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Milwaukee area seeing more families moving up

Many families are now moving into larger homes.

Many families are now moving into larger homes.

Home sales across much of the country, including Wisconsin, have remained well below last year's levels. But home sales data in Milwaukee has found that many families there are backing their moving trailers up to much bigger homes than they left.

According to Metro MLS, which tracks home sales in the region, there were just over 900 homes sold in the area during September, a 28.6 percent drop-off from September of last year. But at the same time, prices increased by nearly 7 percent. Officials said that the increase was due to more sales coming from existing homeowners trading up and moving into bigger homes.

"You still have a lot of foreclosures that are selling, but I think you've also added these higher-end ones," local real estate agent David Schmidt told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I'm not talking about moving into that million-dollar house. I'm talking about the average guy moving into that $250,000 house."

The 28.6 percent drop in sales is also much less drastic than was seen in recent months. Year-over-year sales in August and July were down 36.9 percent and 45.3 percent, respectively.

Those families are also timing their relocation when they can take advantage of record-low interest rates. According to the latest weekly survey by Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate loan was 4.27 percent - the lowest ever recorded.