Local municipalities bullish on housing markets

Local municipalities bullish on housing markets

Local leaders from six area communities delivered their annual state of the local housing market reports Thursday to the Champaign County Association of Realtors. Here's their top selling points:

CHAMPAIGN: The city's Class 1 fire safety rating — the highest the Insurance Services Office hands out — should lead to lower homeowners' insurance rates, Mayor Deb Feinen said. And while November's passage of the Unit 4 referendum will raise taxes, Feinen said that more importantly, it will lead to state-of-the-art schools for the city.

MAHOMET: While the results aren't yet in from Mahomet's recently conducted special census, Village Administrator Patrick Brown expects to see growth, which would mean more state revenue. The village residential growth has been "consistent," and Brown said Mahomet is starting to see growth on the commercial side as well.

RANTOUL: "Rantoul's experiencing a new burst of growth, and we can see it on the interstate," Mayor Chuck Smith told the crowd. With recent economic development — a new Holiday Inn Express, a 75-room assisted living facility and a Jimmy John's — "our future looks bright," Smith said.

ST. JOSEPH: The village recently created a new tax-increment-financing district. In the first phase, 64 homes will be built, along with condos and assisted living. Coming this summer: the construction of 35 townhouses in St. Joseph's Trinity Acres development, Mayor B.J. Hackler said.

SAVOY: A recent special census showed Savoy's population has increased by 1,300 people since 2010, which should lead to more money from the state on an annual basis. Savoy has 1,200 residential lots ready to be built on, and 100 new houses are built each year, Village Manager Dick Helton said.

URBANA: While property taxes are higher in Urbana, Mayor Laurel Prussing said that if the city wins its Illinois Supreme Court case against Carle Foundation Hospital, property taxes will go down 20 percent. "So that's something to look forward to," Prussing said.

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