Home Expo hints at strength in southern Illinois building market

Home Expo hints at strength in southern Illinois building market
By: Carly O'Keefe
MARION, Ill. - In recent years, it seems there's always something new under construction in Marion, Illinois: a new baseball stadium, new restaurants and half-million dollar homes. But can the local building market continue to grow when national trend is the opposite?
"Right at the moment, the outlook is very, very promising," said Arthur Mize with the Home Builders Association of Southern Illinois. "But we're all standing on eggshells because this little building bubble that we've got going on could collapse."
The Spring Home Expo in Marion showed no hint of a slowing market. This year's Expo hosted more vendors than ever before and saw a steady flow of potential homebuilders and remodelers filling the Williamson County Pavilion all weekend.
Some folks who checked out the Expo said they're stuck in limbo; they want to build a new home, but can't because of a slowing real estate market.
"We have a house on the market, so we're like a lot of people we've got to sell in order to build," said Craig Baumgarten.
"We have found that it's not a seller's market. There's no real big interest on homes, so that's what pushed us to the idea of totally remodeling," said Glenn Spiller.
New homes keep going up as Williamson County grows in leaps and bounds, which makes contractors optimistic that the local building bubble will stay intact.
"Marion has been a boom town for the past few years, and hopefully the next few years. It has been good to the building industry," said Mize.