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The Chicago Area's Is Seeing The Highest Level Of New Home Construction In Years

By Gwendolyn Purdom in News on Aug 9, 2016 8:54PM

Getty Images; Photo: Joe Raedle

In the past year, the Chicago area has seen its number of new residential construction projects spike to its highest level in seven years.

This is according to a new study out Monday by real estate research firm Metrostudy that found that the number of new homes in the area went up by 5.6 percent from this time last year. Out of a total of 6,250 new units started from the second quarter of last year to the second quarter of this year within the 12-county Chicagoland region, 72 percent of them broke ground in either Cook, Kane or Will county in Illinois, or Lake county in Indiana, according to a Metrostudy release.

Even with such a boom, the Chicago housing market isn't predicted to experience too crazy a boost next year. While there's plenty of construction going on and the number of vacant lots to build on is actually pretty high, the research—collected via surveys and deed transactions—shows lots in the most desirable neighborhoods are getting more and more scarce—so the price on that brand new house or condo in the hottest neighborhood is going to inevitably rise: not great news considering nearly half of Chicagoans already can't afford their housing.

As Metrostudy's Midwest Director Mark Gianopulos explained in the release:

Builders in this market will be challenged to bring new housing units to market under $300k as construction costs, land and lot prices and development costs continue to increase. Given these factors, Metrostudy forecasts new home starts in 2016 to range from 6,200 to 6,500, representing growth from 6% to 8%. Interest rates and energy costs have remained low, providing further motivation for new home buyers. The amount of vacant developed lots available in the marketplace will provide the necessary supply to meet the demand forecast provided above through 2017.

The highest concentration of these new projects occurred, not surprisingly, in Cook County, Gianopulos confirmed to Chicagoist, with five of the top 15 new-unit-producing communities, including condo developments at State and Walton in the Gold Coast, 9 W. Erie in River North and the South Loop's 837 S. Wells St. complex, found there.

[h/t: Chicago Business Journal]