August 15, 2018
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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