“It was here, in Springfield, where North, South, East and West come together, that I was reminded of the essential decency of the American people, where I came to believe that through this decency, we build a more hopeful America.”
Barack Obama uttered those words on the footsteps of the Illinois state capitol in 2007 – a speech where the former Illinois state senator declared his candidacy for president. Back then, if Obama loved Springfield so much, he could have bought a home there for the median price of $108,000, according to National Association of Realtors data, significantly less than the 2007 U.S. median home price of $207,000.
Today, the gulf in home prices between the Springfield metropolitan area and the rest of the country looks as endless as Illinois’ prairie. The median Springfield area home sold for $143,000 in the second quarter of this year, per NAR. The U.S. median existing home price is $359,900.
In that NAR study, the Chicago-headquartered trade group analyzed home sale data in 183 markets. Springfield was the only one of those 183 to see a year-over-year home sale price decline.
In other words, at a moment in real estate history when the phrase “high demand, low inventory” is cliché…have we found the one place in America where there’s not high demand?