Trends in the slowly improving housing market in the Chicago suburbs

The Daily Herald reports on the slow growth in real estate transactions and construction in the Chicago suburbs:

Sales of existing homes were on the upswing in February, climbing 1.2 percent from January and 4.7 percent from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The tactics of builders and developers have changed:

The result is that buyers are seeing new houses of smaller square footage loaded with amenities such as wood floors, high-end appliances, specialty cabinets, spa-quality bathrooms, upscale windows and trims, and the latest wireless communication and entertainment technology.

Two groups of buyers are driving this trend: older millennials tired of paying rising rents and ready to raise a family, and baby boomers at or near retirement and looking to downsize…

Like other developers, Pulte is focusing on building in closer-in suburbs rather than massive subdivisions on the fringes…

Toll Brothers also has a limit on how far out it will develop, said Keith Anderson, Midwest group president.

“Elgin is as far as we will go. We’d rather pay more for the land and build closer,” Anderson said.

Or, put differently, there are not enough buyers and sellers putting pressure on builders and developers to construct homes further in the hinterlands in the Chicago region. In contrast, those buying homes have different expectations as well as the means to purchase more in-fill properties. This provides more evidence – from the higher economic end of suburban homeowners – that the bifurcated housing market continues.

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