When it comes to the economy, the Illinois housing market and the prospects for 2015, there is good news on the horizon, said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois on Wednesday at IAR Public Policy Meetings in East Peoria.
The housing market in 2014, while less dramatic than 2013, reflected a return to a more normal market with gradual and consistent gains in prices and sales, Hewings said. Expect a similar, steady housing market in 2015, he said.
Some takeaways from Hewings presentation to Illinois REALTORS®:
- One of Illinois’ biggest economic challenges is boosting job growth. That is particularly true when it comes to encouraging existing Illinois corporations to add jobs as two-thirds of all employment creation occurs in existing businesses, Hewings said. Illinois needs to add about 60,900 jobs a year for the economy to recover in five years.
- The 2015 Illinois housing market is expected to largely track 2014 when it comes to moderate price and sales gains.
- Since 2002, consumer mobility and migration patterns have slowed considerably compared to the 1990s when people were moving more often.
- When it comes to home prices recovering to previous peaks, the state of Illinois is at about 86 percent recovery rate while the Chicago PMSA has reached about 79 percent of recovery.
- Illinois has a competitive and affordable housing market that could be a draw to out-of-state and international buyers but the state’s fiscal issues can be a detriment.
- REAL research shows that the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program aimed at rehabbing foreclosures has improved property values in Chicago neighborhoods by $35,700 on average.