IBM could create housing market boom - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

IBM could create housing market boom

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Dubuque (KWWL) -- When IBM moves into the Dubuque Building, it's expected that hundreds of people will move into Dubuque. That's what people in the housing market and school districts are preparing for.

Michael Von Hollen, broker/owner of Prudential Partners Realty in Dubuque says IBM could spell exciting change and growth for the housing market.

"Traffic has already picked up in terms of calls and online traffic just with interest in what's happening," Von Hollen said.

Right now, there are 317 homes listed in the three Dubuque zip codes, with an average price tag of almost 200-thousand dollars, Von Hollen says in the estimated price range for the average $45,000 salary at IBM. In the greater tri-states area, that number is around 479 homes on the market with a similar average price.

"Last year, we had probably our highest number of properties that were withdrawn or expired, and a lot of it because they weren't selling and so we think there's quite a market out there that's build up. Now, this will help push them over the edge to get them excited about selling and moving up, so it'll have a big trickle down effect," Von Hollen said.

Dubuque Community Schools superintendent John Burgart says with the recent addition of two new buildings, the district can easily take on a couple hundred new students next school year.

"We should be able to accommodate without any major concern that number of students. If it's a much larger number or concentrated in a particular grade or part of the city, then we may have work to do to make sure we are ready," Burgart said.

With IBM's move, Von Hollen also anticipates a big boom in building new homes and in the high-end rental market that could spur new downtown apartment and condo projects.

"Since they'll be working in the downtown, we feel like that could really help spur on some of those projects to go ahead and get started. There will definitely now be a need for those," Von Hollen said.

While preparing for a large influx of people is a big job, those in housing and schools both say they're glad this is happening somewhat gradually with 300-400 jobs by June and another 300-400 by August.

Online Reporter:  Jamie Grey

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