socastcmsRssStartBy Scot Bertram | Illinois News NetworksocastcmsRssEnd
Three communities in the Rockford area have landed at the top of a list of healthiest housing markets in the state.
Rockton, Machesney Park, and Roscoe took three of the top four spots on the list produced by financial company Smart Asset. The survey looked at home values, cost of ownership, ease of sale, and how long people lived in their homes.
Conor Brown, the CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, said the recovering job market locally has been a huge help.
“Once those are added, people can afford the houses,” Brown said. “It’s almost like we’re running into the good problem to have, which is employers with job openings trying to match up with employees which are skilled and qualified for those positions.”
AJ Smith, vice president of education with Smart Asset, said the Rockford-area communities checked the boxes they were looking for on the annual survey.
“Below the state average for things like average days on market,” Smith said. “We also saw the number of homes decreasing in value much lower than the state average. The average homes with negative equity we saw those numbers primarily lower than the state average as well.”
A trio of communities near Joliet rounded out the top six markets in Illinois. In fact, every city in the top ten is in the northern part of the state. Smith said that shouldn’t be seen as a negative reflection on southern Illinois markets.
“Some of these are still doing well when it’s compared to the nation, they’re just not doing as well as the other cities and counties in the state,” Smith said.
Brown said the ranking continues the positive momentum for the region, including the city of Rockford being named one of the “15 Best Places to Move to in the U.S.” by Readers Digest.
“You can get a lot of house for your money,” Brown said. “You don’t have crazy commute time. You do have wonderful park systems and cultural events. It’s a lot of big-city amenities with a small-town feel.”
The survey took into account affordability, stability, fluidity and risk of loss.
“We do these studies to get people thinking and talking about these topics,” Smith said. “We’re trying to give some guidelines as to maybe what some factors are that people want to be thinking about and where does that play into what their goal is in home buying.”