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Jobs, tax rebates fuel Northwest Illinois real-estate market – The Center Square

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(The Center Square) –  The Rockford area real estate market is booming, with jobs and property tax rebates playing key roles.

Northwest Illinois has employment opportunities in aerospace manufacturing and in three hospital systems. Stellantis plans to reopen the former Chrysler plant in Belvidere, although the timeline for the project remains uncertain. A new casino is scheduled to open in late August.


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According to Northwest Alliance of Realtors CEO Conor Brown, Rockford has an incredibly small inventory of housing for the number of jobs coming to the area.

“Our days on-market is only 18, which for some people may sound like a lot, but it’s barely anything. We’re really starving for new housing starts,” Brown said.

Brown said that the city of Rockford and the public school district have offered a property tax rebate on new construction.

“If you build a new house and, say your tax bill is ten grand, you’re going to get $7,500 rebated back to you for the next three years,” Brown said.

Brown added that housing values are up and demand is outpacing inventory.  

According to the Northwest Alliance of Realtors, Rockford area home prices have increased more than 50% in the last four years.  

The market has turned around dramatically in the last decade.  

Brown serves as CEO of the Northwest Alliance and also as treasurer of the Greater Rockford Chamber of Commerce. He said Rockford is celebrating its success and its recent recognition from the Wall Street Journal as the top real estate market in the United States.

“They actually referenced a story about ten years ago where we were classified as the Underwater Mortgage Capital of America,” Brown said.

Brown added that people with jobs tend to purchase homes. He said the region is short of the number of houses needed to meet employment demands.

“Our Region One Planning Council, which is the federal planning entity for our region, estimates that we need about 5,600 new housing units by 2028,” Brown said.

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