"The bankruptcy petition is a dramatic turn of events for Pasquinelli, which started building homes in the Chicago market in 1956, and whose business expanded under the Pasquinelli and Portrait names to Indiana, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, George, Florida and Texas. A civil lawsuit filed against the company last year said as of 2006, the company's annual revenues had surpassed $580 million...The filing adds Pasquinelli to the list of longtime local homebuilders whose names have disappeared from the Chicago area residential construction scene. Competitors like Kirk Homes and Kimball Hill Homes also enjoyed the housing market's bubble before it burst and they were forced to fold."
Until the big collapse in 2008, Chicago was the main exception to the dominance of national home builders. In this area, there were lots of strong local home building companies and developers. But they didn't survive the collapse of the market, so if the new housing market ever comes back (and I don't assume that it will) it will be national, publicly traded firms that do the building. Just as family farms gave way to huge corporate farming conglomerates, so the home building industry seems to have turned into a mega-market where corporate goliaths swat away at each other like Transformers. Where does that leave the home buyer? Tons of relatively meaningless choices about carpets and windows and no choice about whether you will have an HOA.