Building luxury homes “on spec” in Chicago has returned with a vengeance, according to the spring issue of Michigan Avenue Magazine. The trend is the result of developers being more confident these high-end homes will quickly find buyers, and it’s’ with good reason: demand is booming.

One developer, Ken Brinkman of Environs Development, told the magazine that about 80% of the firm’s projects during the last 18 months or so were built on spec. That rate would have been unheard of just a few years ago. He noted a pair of majestic homes built in Lincoln Park—one 8,600 square feet, the other 7,200 square feet—were each sold well before the roofs were even lifted. They brought prices of $5.975 million and $4.975 million, respectively.

Brinkman said he thinks he knows why the trend of building on spec has returned.

“What feels different now compared to even a year ago is that the potential clients we’re talking to are much more confident about their financial situation and more comfortable about the economy,” Brinkman told Michigan Avenue Magazine.

Also feeding the frenzy is that many potential home buyers are beginning to move away from custom-built homes because of a variety of reasons. First and foremost is that they are extremely time-consuming. Buyers don’t want to spend all the time meeting with developers and architects.

This is an interesting gauge of the Chicago luxury housing market. It’s also certainly good to see both builders and buyers confident of the future. For those interested in high-end Chicago real estate, you can find an array of available homes on this site.