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New home sales up slightly in 2018 but way below pre-recession levels

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Chicago-area developers sold 3,985 new houses, condos and townhomes in 2018, making 10 consecutive years that new home sales have floundered below 5,000 units.

The 10-county metro area saw a 3.1 percent bump in new home sales last year compared to 2017, according to a report from Tracy Cross & Associates cited in Crain’s. But the figure remains a fraction of what it was between 2000 and 2005, when new home sales numbers would consistently clear 25,000 units each year.

New home sales have jumped about 50 percent nationally since 2009, but barely picked up in Chicago.

Tracy Cross & Associates’ Erik Doersching told Crain’s the persistently low home sale numbers stem from population loss in the Chicago area, as well as slow price growth on existing homes.

An October report from the Illinois Association of Realtors found overall home sales plunged by almost 17 percent across the state between September 2017 and September 2018, even as prices continued to climb. Realtors said the numbers were a sign of insufficient home inventory statewide. [Crain’s]Alex Nitkin

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