Wisconsin home sales reached record levels in 2016, according to end-of-year data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association.

Sales rose above 81,000 homes for the first time since 2005, the year WRA began tracking home sales in a comparable fashion. The 2016 total sales figure was 6.1 percent higher than 2015's.

Association President Mike Theo said every part of Wisconsin saw sales increase last year. 

"The strongest being up in the northern region, which had almost an 8 percent growth in 2016 over 2015," Theo said. "But all of the regions that we track have been up between 4 percent and 7 percent."

Due to a relatively low number of homes up for sale and only a modest increase in interest rates, the median price of a home in Wisconsin grew by 5.9 percent last year to hit $165,000.

Real estate analysts expect rates to rise further in the coming years. While any further increases can have an effect on the real estate picture, a slower rise would be more manageable, Theo said. 

"So long as that increase is steady and not in big spikes, we think the marketplace has already anticipated that and will be able to absorb it," he said. 

Wisconsin’s foreclosure levels have stabilized, according to the WRA report. The number of single-family home foreclosures last year was the lowest since 2000.

Wisconsin Public Radio can be heard locally on stations KUWS-FM 91.3, WUWS-FM 90.9, WSSU-FM 88.5, WHWA-FM 104.7 and WHSA-FM 88.9.