Sequestration Threatens QCA Housing Market - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Sequestration Threatens QCA Housing Market

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We are less than a week away from the deadline for Congress to avoid the massive, automatic spending cuts known as Sequestration.

They're across the board cuts - that will take a particularly big bite out of the defense budget.

They could also make for a particularly hard hit for our local economy, because the Rock Island Arsenal is the biggest employer in the Quad Cities - with an estimated economic impact of $1-Billion.

The sequester would trim $197-million from the Arsenal's operations. Civilian employees would be furloughed and the Army estimates just over 1,000 jobs would be lost.

The pain will be widespread, trickling down through our entire economy.

Realtors are saying the impact on the housing market will be big.

Case in point: two homes for sale right now in the Broadway Historic District in Rock Island.

They're right across the street from each other, and both have been renovated inside and out, in large part, to give Arsenal workers a nice place to live.

Now, instead of new Arsenal workers looking to buy homes, we might be seeing more for sale signs popping up across the Quad Cities.

As one realtor told us, the housing market has been bouncing back from the recession, but this could change everything.

"It's going to be like if you had a really bad infection, and at the tail-end you quite taking your antibiotics, it comes back three-fold," explained Connie Coster, of Ruhl & Ruhl. "It is going to be devastating."

On top of that, if people aren't bringing in a paycheck, they won't have money to pay the bills, so there a possibility for a spike in home foreclosures.

And, the question remains: If they workers lose their jobs, will they stay in the area or try to find work elsewhere? Leaving the QCA means they'll take what money they do have with them, and out of our local economy.

There is a flip side, however. If more homes do go up for sale, there is a possibility that people might be more likely to buy. That is because mortgage rates are at an all time low right now.


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