While Chicago ranks among the top five job growth markets in the country, Elgin leads the way among submarkets in the region, according to data cited by Chris Huecksteadt of Metrostudy.
The firm tracks housing and development information across the country. Huecksteadt, director of Metrostudy's Midwest region, shared the latest findings with Elgin City Council members this week.
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The job growth statistic, while encouraging, was coupled with more depressing numbers.
Foreclosure filings are down, but the number of houses actually reaching the hands of the banks is not.
"We'll probably see the number of foreclosures continuing to rise in 2012," Huecksteadt said. "We expect that to level off by the end of the year."
Elgin follows Naperville and Huntley as the third ranked community for new home construction and tops the list for home sale closings, Huecksteadt said.
However, today's numbers are significantly lower than they were before the recession. Four years ago in Elgin, Huecksteadt said, the standard was construction of more than 600 houses per year. Today its as low as 120 houses annually.
But vacant developed lots are still the biggest challenge for the real estate and new construction markets, according to Huecksteadt's analysis. In Kane County there are 103 subdivisions -- 3,677 lots -- with no activity at all.
Much of these empty subdivisions were planned for more expensive housing, but shifting demand means people are after homes priced less than $200,000.
With job growth, though, Huecksteadt said demand should increase, getting finished homes off the market.