The Chicago Tribune reports on the buzz in new-home building in the windy city:

Homes are being built in the Chicago area at the strongest pace in seven years.

According to housing consulting firm Metrostudy, through the second quarter of this year annual new home construction was up 5.6 percent in the Chicago area. Yet while there is some momentum in the market, gains are modest. The number of homes that have been completed and sold declined 4.1 percent, the study found.

Sales are being held back by rising new home prices, political instability, concerns over higher real estate taxes and a "general lack of confidence shown by consumers in the marketplace," Metrostudy said in a release of its study Monday.

The majority of new homes are being built in Cook, Kane and Will counties, as well as Lake County in Indiana, as a shift occurs in the market. Prior to the recession, there was a push into developing outlying areas of the region. Since the recession, areas that are not as distant have been most popular, and especially Cook County.

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