Another housing market crash? Local experts weigh in

By Audrey Wise

November 3, 2013 Updated Nov 4, 2013 at 12:06 PM CDT

CENTRAL ILLINOIS -- About five years ago the housing market crashed. It is currently in recovery with high demand and low interest rates but could it all come tumbling down again?

A recent Country Financial Survey shows that about half of Americans think the country could be headed for another housing market crash in the next two years. But some local experts think it could be more pessimistic perception than reality.

"I think there's just a lot of fear out there and it's tough to combat fear," said Country Financial Representative Matt Potts.

Problems in the nation's capitol are at the forefront of people's mind and could being giving Americans a negative outlook.

Potts said problems include uncertainties with the government, the shutdown, the debt ceiling, things that are basically out of our control.

"They just keep looking over their shoulder," said Financial Advisor Joe Stowell. "When's the next collapse coming? I'm of the opinion it's not going to."

Stowell said government financing programs are keeping rates low and that is what's spurring on growth in the market.

"People who are putting the blame on the government don't understand what's going on," he said. "If it wasn't for the government we would have no housing market at all at this time."

Chuck Montgomerie, President of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors, said nationally the housing market saw a bit of a slowdown in September. He believes it reflects an increase in interest rates and the government shutdown.

However, Bloomington-Normal didn't seem to be as effected.

Montgomerie said the housing market there is largely dependent on local employers, like State Farm.

"Unless there's a dramatic change in employment we expect things to pretty much stay the same," he said.

In reality, local experts say obstacles to buying a home are more personal finances and less outside factors like the government.

"You need to get your financial house in order before you can go buy a house," advises Stowell.

"We run into so many people that go to buy a house and they can't because they either don't have the proper down payment or they just didn't plan soundly," said Potts.

Still, no one has a crystal ball to predict what the future holds for the housing market.

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