Rockford named the top housing market in the country – WIFR

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – A new ranking from the Wall Street Journal labels Rockford as America’s top spot for housing.

The ranking was created by the Wall Street Journal and, evaluating the real estate market and economic health and quality of life in 200 cities. Crediting affordable living and a growing pool of job opportunities, Rockford takes the cake for the best housing market.

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The median price of a home in Rockford sits at nearly $235,000, close to half of the national average. The WSJ says this is a jump of nearly 51% from last year, marking it the largest gain of any metro area the ranking observed. Dickerson and Nieman president Frank Weirstein hopes the new title will attract more people to the area and promote buying over renting a home.

“More people that own the more stable the community becomes and more desirable and we can do other things hopefully with park district and encourage more businesses to come so more home ownership will drive more businesses,” Weirstein says.

More than 20,000 jobs are supplied by large manufacturing and aerospace companies in the Rockford region. Rockford Chamber of Commerce president Caitlin Pusateri says as more industries look to hire, housing will gain a more important role in recruiting talented people into the local workforce.

“The world is not without obstacles right now. Neither is the business community,” Pusateri says. “And I think if we just kind of keep that Rockford ingenuity and make sure that we’re using it to the best of our abilities we will continue to prosper.”

Due to a low housing inventory in the Forest City, real estate experts warn buyers not to wait. NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors CEO Conor Brown says fewer homes on the market could frustrate potential buyers looking to move into the region, as some homes sell in just three days. Brown believes Rockford should have seven times the number of homes on the market, currently coming in at just under 200. However, he says the city has come a long way from the depressed prices from a decade ago.

“We have a really robust job market, be it manufacturing, aerospace, that are supporting high quality jobs that allow for people to go out and purchase homes is so incredibly important,” Brown says.

The Wall Street Journal highlights Rockford’s social life as a driving force behind the hot housing market. Real estate experts say to keep the city at the top of the list, the community should keep highlighting positive opportunities that come Rockford’s way.

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