FILE - Construction workers, new housing

Some Illinois homebuyers may have to settle for previously-owned homes, according to a new report that shows fewer homes are being built in the state. 

The post from Constructioncoverage.com found that Illinois had 17 new homes built per 10,000 people last year. That’s far below the national average of 41 new homes built per 10,000 people. 

Analyst Michael LaFirenza, who wrote the report, said the state’s construction, which acts as a sort of barometer for local economic health, is markedly low considering the long stretch of market growth. 

“[It] is very low compared to a state like Florida, which has 68 new homes per 10,000 residents,” he said. 

The study also considered high-density new construction such as condominiums and apartments, which are more popular in Chicago and the suburbs. 

LaFirenza said the state’s population losses also could be a factor. Illinois has had five consecutive years of population loss. 

“Certainly there is a correlation between the population growth in an area and the demand for new housing,” he said.

Population density was another factor, with Rhode Island and Connecticut being two of the more compact states in the nation and having the lowest number of new homes per 10,000 residents.

Idaho had the highest ratio of homes with 89 per 10,000 residents in 2018.

Staff Writer

Cole Lauterbach reports on Illinois government and statewide issues for The Center Square. He has produced radio shows for stations in Bloomington/Normal and Peoria, and created award-winning programs for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.