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Stark: Madison real estate market sluggish, but not in crisis

A top Madison real estate executive says the $700 billion effort to salvage toxic mortgage-based securities, which he termed “taking the stinky meat out of the refrigerator,” could help “get the fear out of the” U.S. housing market.

But Dave Stark of 100-year-old Stark Co. Realtors added the national housing market isn't out of the woods yet and may not see an uptick until spring. He's comforted by a favorable interest rate climate, noting that the last time he saw these kinds of troubles was in the double-digit high-interest times of the early 1980s.

Stark also stressed that the Madison housing market, while sluggish, isn't in the crisis that's being experienced in states like Nevada, Florida, California and Arizona. Real estate, he says, is “inherently local.”

He says so far sales are down and there's too much inventory, but that housing prices in Dane County are holding their own.

The presidential election is adding negativity.

“Getting the election over with will be a good thing,” he told a Oct. 6 luncheon organized by WisBusiness.com, Madison Magazine and the Madison Club.

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