Local home builders finally have something to smile about says a recent Chicago Business article, “Home builders starting anew in Chicago ‘burbs.” After six straight years of falling sales, year-over-year sales of Chicago new homes saw a 12.9 percent increase during the first half of 2012 according to a new report by Tracy Cross & Associates Inc. The big gains were mostly fueled by increasing sales in many of Chicago’s suburban subdivisions.
However, even though sales are expected to increase by 23 percent this year, numbers still remain at a fraction of what they were before the housing crisis.
Nonetheless, increasing sales is still great news for residential construction, which employs around 100,000 people in the Chicago area. Suburban builders, who have taken a large hit in the past few years, seem to be on the mend. They sold almost 2,800 homes in the second quarter, a 20 percent increase over 2011.
Many of these builders have dramatically slashed prices, but are still able to make a profit because land acquisition costs are low. Builders also say that decreasing construction costs have helped them sell their new homes with the same quality, but for less money.
But, while the suburbs may be showing signs of strength, Chicago new homes continue to struggle. Sales in the city dropped 9.2 percent in the second quarter to a total of just 550 homes. This low figure can be attributed to the fact that demand in the city is less because many city dwellers are taking advantage of the numerous rental options.