Wednesday, January 23, 2008
the chicago housing slump
Builders sold 2,196 units in the quarter, a 51% decline from the year-earlier period and the biggest quarterly drop since the residential slump began more than two years ago, according to Tracy Cross & Associates Inc., a Schaumburg-based real estate consulting firm. Homes sold in the quarter at the slowest pace in 15 years, the firm says.
The housing downturn, longer and deeper than most people expected, has rippled through the local economy, hitting businesses like Warrenville-based Neumann Homes Inc., which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November, and USG Corp. of Chicago, which saw its third-quarter profit plunge 95% amid weak demand for its wallboard, a key residential construction material. Chicago-based publisher Tribune Co. has seen a steep drop-off in real estate-related advertising. And big-box retailers Target Corp. and Home Depot Inc. are tapping the brakes on plans to expand in the suburbs as residential development slows (Crain's, Dec. 24).
prices need to fall further and faster, as last year's chill has become something much more.