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Builders Aim to Reduce an Overabundance of Home Lots

by Anne Marie Scalambrino

The Chicagoland area is rebounding in the residential market and builders are changing the way they acquire lots.

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We have begun to seen the housing market make its comeback, but just how far along is it? Metrostudy, a Houston-based firm that tracks the housing market, completed a study of the Chicagoland area.

Statistics by Metrostudy

  • In the second quarter, there was a 12.2- year supply of lots ready for new single-family homes, duplexes, or town homes, down from 13.3 years the previous quarter and 17.3 years in second-quarter 2012.
  • The number of vacant lots decreased to 51,808 from 53,212.
  • Local new-home sales increased in the first quarter to 1,049, up 19 percent from 2012.
  • In April of 2013, single-family home prices were up 9 percent from April of 2012.
  • There were 4,264 new Chicago-area homes in a 12-month period ending in the second quarter, up from 3,193 in 2012, and the highest since second- quarter 2009.
  • As for the suburbs, Elgin lead with 229 housing starts, Naperville with 213, and Pingree Grove with 211 in a 12-month period ending in the second-quarter.

The director of the Midwest region for Metrostudy, Chris Huecksteadt commented on this year’s housing market statistics.

“The rate of new home starts has grown faster than the supply of lots, so that months-of-supply number is coming down,” adding, “Somewhere between 18,000 and 20,000 [housing statistics per year] is healthy in this market. We’re starting to see that number heading in the right direction.”

Huuecksteadt also commented on the alterations builders have made in obtaining properties. Now builders are launching subsequent phases of existing developments and acquiring land for new projects, whereas during the recession they were securing distressed developments that had been derailed by the recession.

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