Housing Growth Equals Profound Shortage Of Construction Workers

Good News: United States housing starts have increased 11.3% so far in 2015, while commercial construction spending is up 9.7% in the first half of this year.

Now the bad news: So many construction workers left the field during the recession, that almost 70% of construction companies are having trouble finding enough skilled construction workers.

Now the very bad news, there is no end in site. Laborers are not returning to the construction workforce as the talent pool has dried up. So many schools and apprenticeship programs were closed during the downturn that few qualified young laborers are being taught valued skills.

If this trend continues, this could have serious ramifications in future construction growth.


Chicago Magazine: How Much Is Your Home Worth?

Chicago Magazine has published median home prices for all Chicago neighborhoods. Their analysis taken from

Call it a classic case of too much too soon: After zooming more than 9 percent in 2013 and 5 percent last year, median home values in the six-county metro area should level off with just a 0.5 percent increase in 2015, predicts Skylar Olsen, a senior economist at the real estate research firm Zillow. (Many other metro areas, such as Boston and New York, also have a virtually flat forecast for the year.) The message: If you want to sell now but wondered if you should wait another year to benefit from rising prices, go ahead and list. And if you’re a buyer, you’ll have plenty of time to shop around. See how your area stacks up on these charts, which include price data for neighborhoods and suburbs with 20 or more sales in 2014.

The full report and stats are available at


July 2015 Construction over $1B Annual Rate


The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during July 2015 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,083.4 billion, 0.7 percent (±1.5%)* above the revised June estimate of $1,075.9 billion. The July figure is 13.7 percent (±2.0%) above the July 2014 estimate of $952.5 billion.

During the first 7 months of this year, construction spending amounted to $583.2 billion, 9.3 percent (±1.5%) above the $533.7 billion for the same period in 2014.

Spending on private construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $787.8 billion, 1.3 percent (±1.0%) above the revised June estimate of $777.4 billion. Residential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $380.8 billion in July, 1.1 percent (±1.3%)* above the revised June estimate of $376.6 billion. Nonresidential construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $407.0 billion in July, 1.5 percent (±1.0%) above the revised June estimate of $400.8 billion.

In July, the estimated seasonally adjusted annual rate of public construction spending was $295.6 billion, 1.0 percent (±2.6%)* below the revised June estimate of $298.5 billion. Educational construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $66.4 billion, 3.0 percent (±3.5%)* below the revised June estimate of $68.4 billion. Highway construction was at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $90.3 billion, 0.2 percent (±6.6%)* below the revised June estimate of $90.5 billion.

August 2015 data will be released on October 1, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. EDT.


Engineering News Record Releases List Of 400 Best Contractors

Engineering News Record has released it’s annual list of the top 400 contractors in the nation. As usual, Chicago is well represented. O’Neil Industries, Clune Construction, James McHugh Construction, The Walsh Group Ltd., Clayco Inc., Power Construction Co., Pepper Construction Group and Leopardo Cos. Inc. are just some of the area contractors that made the list.


Top Ten Chicago Real Estate Blogs

We love a good blog! Here are ten of the best Chicago real estate blogs. A great city deserves great blogs!

Curbed Chicago – a great blog devoted to Chicago’s wonderful diverse neighborhoods.

Yo Chicago – A fresh take on homes, apartments and neighborhoods in Chicago & suburbs.

Getting Real – Getting Real is Gary Lucido’s irreverent blog about the Chicago real estate scene – the market, the industry, and the players. Gary is the President of Lucid Realty, which he founded with his partner, Sari Levy, seven years ago out of frustration with the real estate industry.

Crib Chatter – The Dish on the Chicago Housing Market

Chicago Magazine’s Real Estate Blog – Chicago’s premier local magazine’s take on the real estate industry.

Dreamtown – an inside look at Chicago’s real estate trends.

Homescout – Another well done blog highlighting Chicago’s market.

Movato – Comprehensive blog devoted to market trends.

Lee Bey – Gorgeous photography of the Windy City.

Midwest Wrecking Chicago – Ok, a little shameless self promotion never hurt anyone!


Go Bears! A Little Soldier Field History

stadiumhistory_header The Bears season starts tomorrow against the Green Bay Packers. Let’s look back at the iconic Soldier Field. Some history from their website:

The former South Park Commission (the Commission merged with 22 other park systems to establish the Chicago Park District in 1934) hired Chicago architects Holibird and Roche in 1919 to design a stadium that would serve as a showcase “for events and a playground for the people.” On October 9, 1924, the Grant Park Municipal Stadium premiered and one year later, at the request of the Chicago Gold Star Mothers, the stadium was renamed Soldier Field.

It was known as one of the great venues during the “Golden Age of Sports” and one of Chicago’s most famous landmarks. Crowds in excess of 100,000 were commonplace, marked by several memorable events including the 1926 Army-Navy game and the epic 1927 Jack Dempsey/Gene Tunney heavyweight rematch featuring the controversial “long count”. In 1944, 150,000 spectators attended a wartime visit by President Franklin Roosevelt and thousands turned out to hear evangelist Billy Graham in 1962. Soldier Field is also the birthplace of the first Special Olympic Games in 1968. College and Professional football, rock concerts, festivals, rodeos, stock-car races, and even a skiing/toboggan event have called Soldier Field home. The Chicago Bears moved from Wrigley Field and began using the facility in 1971 and played their first game in the renovated Soldier Field on September 29, 2003.


Deadline Nears for Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards

Time is running out! Online applications for 22nd Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards are due by September 10th.

From their website:

Established in 1995, the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards (CNDA) recognize the essential role that both non-profit and for-profit developers play in building communities in Chicago-area neighborhoods. The Awards recognize outstanding achievement in neighborhood real estate development and community building, especially the achievements of community development corporations (CDCs), other community-based organizations and for-profit developers working to build healthier neighborhoods in the Chicago metropolitan area.