By Joe Boyle
After experiencing an interruption to everyday life and the suspension of businesses due to the pandemic this past year, Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett was eager to hear some good news.
The mayor received just that as Palos Hills was listed among the top 10 suburbs across the country whose housing pricing offered more square footage compared to surrounding larger metro areas. An article was published in USA Today on Nov. 17 with Palos Hills listed as third. The listing was based on information compiled by Realtor.com.
Bennett actually heard about the honor during December.
“I actually heard about this last month when Ald. (Mark) Brachman mentioned it to me,” Bennett said. “At the time it kind of went under the radar with other things going on. But it was mentioned again recently and we looked it up.”
Realtor.com has identified the suburban communities within 25 miles of the nation’s 10 largest metro areas that offered the most space for the money.
According to Realtor.com, house hunters can snap up a suburban residence that costs the same as a home near downtown, but with up to 65 percent more square feet. They can typically save 29 percent per square feet when they purchase property in a community just a half-hour drive away from an urban hub, according to the report.
“We are very proud of the fact that our city is listed as more affordable,” Bennett said. “It is a great honor.”
Palos Hills was listed as having a median listing price of $379,000. The savings per square foot is about 24 percent, according to the listing. The median income for residents of Palos Hills is $65,700.
The information was provided during a Palos Hills City Council meeting last Thursday night via YouTube.
According to Realtor.com, Slickerville, N.J. was ranked first in their listing. Slickerville is just outside Philadelphia. Cedar Hills, Texas, located just outside Dallas, was listed second in the ratings.
During last Thursday’s board meeting, some aldermen wondered if more can be done in regards to reaching out to businesses as the pandemic continued in the new year.
“I’ve heard from some of our businesses who like to know if the (Gov. J.B. Pritzker) is going to do something,” said Ald. Martin Kleefisch (1st).
Bennett said that much will depend on the positivity rates of COVID-19 cases that will determine if some businesses will be allowed to operate.
“The state will open up more if we follow the guidelines and the positivity rates go down,” Bennett said. “This can happen if we do this sooner than later.”
But members of the council also echoed the good news about the ranking of Palos Hills in the listing by Realtor.com.
“The article focused on quality of life,” Kleefisch said in reference to the USA Today article.
In any event, Bennett was pleased with the listing.
“It’s nice to be listed among the most affordable cities in the entire country,” the mayor said.