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Chicago’s Homebuilding Rate is Among the Lowest

If Chicago-area homebuilders maintained the same pace as they did between 1985 and 2000, the Chicago area would have about 227,300 more new houses today, according to a Zillow study. Where area homebuilders weren’t far behind the national average during that 15-year period with 3.1 new-home permits per 1,000 residents, they’ve since slowed to about 0.7 permits per 1,000 residents.

Nationally, “building activity came to a near-standstill when the housing market collapsed,” said Zillow’s Aaron Terrazas, “and now a decade later, years of underbuilding have left a gap of millions of homes missing from the American housing stock.”

The current pace of Chicago home construction is slower than nearly any other major U.S. city. Only Los Angeles and New York City have a slower pace, both at 0.5 permits per 1,000. Yet much of those regions’ new housing is built in neighboring metro areas, including Southern California’s Inland Empire.

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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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