BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — Bloomington-Normal might be the best place in Central Illinois to live right now. Business Insider ranked the Twin Cities the in top five in the nation, when it comes to places to live after a pandemic.
Researchers say they looked at things like unemployment rate, ability to work from home, population density and cost of living. McLean County realtors say despite the uphill battle COVID-19 has caused for several other industries, it’s actually giving a helping hand to real estate.
According to Brandon Shaffer, President-Elect of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors, interest rates and inventory are low, as he says there is a 6% increase in home sales this year.
“We have large businesses that are moving people to the area,” said Shaffer. “On a personal note, we are finding that even empty-nesters that moved away are now moving back to reconnect with their family.”
COVID-19 has forced us all inside our homes, only going out if we absolutely had to. Shaffer says while spending hours on end at home, many realized their homes don’t suit their future needs.
“In Bloomington-Normal, we’ve seen a real increase in the demand for homes with inground pools,” said John Armstrong, Managing Broker with RE/MAX Rising. “We have seen the demand go up for home theatres, things that we cant get anymore publicly, people are choosing to get privately.”
However, now phase 4 is underway. The gathering limit is five times what it once was, and many say things are getting back to normal. Armstrong says, he doesn’t expect the market to take a hit.
Both say with things opening back up, the market will improve, because people eyeballing homes online may now feel safer checking them out in person.
Also making the Business Insider list of best places to live were, Peoria, Danville, Champaign and Springfield.