The Nation’s Busiest Residential New Construction Markets

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Residential construction put up some great numbers in July, but are those gains consistent with our local real estate market?


July was a very strong month for residential new construction. Not only were building permits up 2.7 percent from June to July, but housing starts and housing completions also posted monthly increases of 5.9 and 1.8 percent, respectively. Overall, residential construction is up 23 percent from last year, and has risen 45 percent since bottoming in 2009.

How do those numbers, though, stack up with Chicago’s residential housing market? Quite well, in fact. Though residential construction in the Windy City remains historically low, builders have made considerable progress in the last year, according to the latest numbers from McGraw-Hill Construction. In July, residential construction in Chicago was up 24 percent from last year to $253 million, and year-to-date, the city’s $1.702 billion in residential building is good for a 44 percent uptick over last year, one of the strongest increases in the nation.

But how are other metro areas growing? See our graph below for some perspective:

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