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Wading Back into Risky Waters

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To further consolidate the strangeness of the market, single-family spec builders are beginning to come on strong again in wealthy neighborhoods, while local foreclosures grow and home values sit at 30% below boom time highs. But Crain's reports success is being had on a hyper-small scale, so long as builders capitalize on lower land and labor costs and build efficiently. Frame houses also keep costs down, so that's what you're seeing in 'hoods like Roscoe Village, Lakeview, Bucktown, and North Center. Many spec builders are sticking to the $1M-$1.3M range for safety's sake, but a few have ventured into the mid-2's, including Andrew Bowyer of Middlefork Capital who allows that "So far I've been very lucky." [Crain's]