Chicago-area new home sales fall for sixth straight year

Chicago Real Estate Daily reports:

Homebuilders sold 665 homes in the fourth quarter, down 3.3 percent from 688 in the third quarter and 1.8 percent from 677 a year earlier, according to Schaumburg-based residential consulting firm Tracy Cross & Associates Inc.

Full-year sales totaled 2,962 homes in 2011, down 4.5 percent from 3,101 in 2010. New-home sales have fallen six years in a row, plunging 91.1 percent from a peak of 33,287 units in 2005.

Seasonally adjusted annualized sales did increase 18.5% in the fourth quarter over the third quarter, according to Cross, and he expects sales to increase by as much as 40% this year.

A 40% sales increase this year would still place sales volume at less than 15% of peak-year sales in 2005 and less than 25% of average sales in the 1994 to 2006 period.

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