The proposal to build apartments in Shiloh that rent at $2,000 a month was cause for pause. Then the data from Zillow showing a decline in much of the metro-east’s median rents created another pause.
Rents are dropping in Illinois while climbing in Missouri. Home values are dropping in Missouri while climbing in Illinois.
Given a choice, rising home values, please.
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Anyone who has lived elsewhere knows how affordable housing is in this region. The national average home value is a little over $200,000, but in St. Louis it is just below $150,000.
The values between cities is significant, and predictable. O’Fallon is at $217,100. Belleville at $81,100. Granite City at $70,400. East St. Louis at $45,800.
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach said he’s worried about losing long-time residents over high property taxes. He had 11 tell him they were thinking of moving over the issue.
“When I checked with them later, 10 of 11 had moved,” Roach said. “This was a real problem for them.”
He said investing in older neighborhoods is part of the answer.
Belleville remains the Illinois region’s largest city, but there is cause for concern when houses are almost one-third the value of O’Fallon’s.
You have to ask whether Belleville’s housing policies have hurt the housing market more than helped prevent decline. Invasive occupancy permits, electricians hired from a list of “city-approved” contractors and extensive city inspections seem to be a significant difference between Belleville and O’Fallon’s housing markets.
Belleville is more than 200 years old and has a significantly older housing stock, but city leaders would be wise to look to an outside consultant to examine that issue and see if regulation is creating the opposite of the desired effect.