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Feels Like Spring is Here (In Terms of Market Temperatures)

by Stephanie Sims

Stephanie-481

Stephanie Sims is the managing editor of Chicago Agent magazine.

It might not feel like it just yet, with this winter’s temperatures still hanging around, but now that it’s past March 20, spring is officially here. And while the particularly brutal winter may have caused some delays with this spring’s new construction market, it hasn’t done much to deter the activity, planned developments and groundbreakings for this year.

Along with lifting up spirits, the warmer weather has also inspired an increase in demand in the Chicagoland new construction market. Though the unusual weather that kept builders out of the field continued into February and kept housing starts below their expected levels, the experts interviewed in our cover story reported that traffic has been up since December, and many of their developments are selling.

And the buyers visiting models and sales centers aren’t “tire-kickers,” according to Jeff Benach, co-principal of Lexington Homes, pictured on this issue’s cover. He has seen  regular traffic and consistent, serious buyers in the market. He says that the buyers looking now know they want to buy and aren’t out looking if they can’t afford to.

This helps to explain why builder confidence in the market for newly-built, single-family homes rose to 47 on the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI).

“A number of factors are raising builder concerns over meeting demand for the spring buying season,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Crowe. “These include a shortage of buildable lots and skilled workers, rising materials prices and an extremely low inventory of new homes for sale.”

Higher demand for new construction is a good thing for this market. If you have clients interested in new construction, make sure to check out our New Construction Status Update on page 18 to see if there are any properties they’d be interested in. Since we could only fit so many in print, check out our full list online: chicago.staging312.com/2014-spring-new-construction-status-update.

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