LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- Short sales and foreclosures have blanketed the stateline over the past five years, after the recession scared away buyers and knocked home prices down to record lows. However, 2012 looks to change that landscape, providing a better outlook for builders like Tomahawk Log and Country Homes.
"For the last four years, it's really been kind of hit and miss. But from the local shows we've done this early winter, we've definitely seen an increase in people that were holding back that are now moving forward”, says Jim Semrow with Tomahawk Log and Country Homes.
More than 200 contractors and home improvement companies are participating in the Rockford Home Show at the Indoor Sports Center this weekend, showing off their services to potential and current home owners. Local businesses say they've felt the impact of the down economy but are seeing a welcoming trend to start off the year.
Scott Williamson of Window World says, "If you want to take a look at this year versus last year, there's more consumer confidence. It shows in our business and our numbers. I think it makes sense, people want to improve their homes and make them more valuable, make it the way you want it to be, while you're living in it before you sell it."
Approximately 2,800 homes are currently for sale in Rockford. That marks the lowest amount since 2006. While that number continues to drop, some believe it may be a sign of good things for the rest of the economy.
"People are feeling more comfortable where they're working, that they're gonna be working in 6 months or a year from now...Rockford being an industrial town, blue collar jobs, people are starting to spend money again”, says Todd Saarinen with Bufalo Contracting.