The twelve-county Chicagoland region experienced its strongest annual start performance since before the last recession, with 13.4% growth year over year to a total of 6,807 new single-family homes, townhomes, condos and duplexes, according to Metrostudy’s latest survey of the area.

On a quarterly basis, the 1,586 units started in the fourth quarter of 2016 represent an 11.4% increase from starts in the fourth quarter of 2015. This also represents the highest number of fourth quarterly starts since before the Recession.

“We look for that activity to continue into 2017 even as economic strength is anticipated to force the Fed’s hand in several more rate hikes in 2017,” said Mark Gianopulos, director of Metrostudy’s Midwest Region. “Looking back on 2016, we are ahead of projected growth estimates, which was from 5% to 8%. Economic strength is anticipated to continue in 2017 nationally and in this market, bringing more jobs at higher wages but also bringing higher inflation and interest rates.”