October 30, 2020
The full market value of real estate in Cook County was $609.6 billion in tax assessment year 2018 according to an annual estimate released by the Civic Federation today. The 2018 estimates represent the sixth year in a row in which real estate values in Cook County increased after six straight years of decline.
The 2018 total value estimate was an increase of $24.3 billion, or 4.1%, from the 2017 estimated full value of $585.3 billion. However, the 2018 full value of real estate in Cook County was still $56.7 billion, or 8.5%, lower than it was at the peak of $666.2 billion in 2006. Between 2000 and 2006, property values in both Chicago and suburban Cook County increased each year, rising by a combined 90.9%. With the housing crisis in 2007, real estate values began to decline, hitting a low point of $414.4 billion in 2012. Since 2012, the estimated value of total real estate in Cook County has increased by 47.1%.
City of Chicago real estate increased by 56.2% since 2012, but was still $6.6 billion below 2006 levels in 2018. In the Cook County suburbs, the estimated value of real estate increased by 38.1% since 2012, but was still $50.0 billion below 2006 levels.
This estimate of real estate in Cook County is calculated using two data sources: the total assessed value of property as reported by the Cook County Assessor’s Office and the median level of assessment reported by the Illinois Department of Revenue. The estimate does not include railroad properties or properties that are exempt from real estate taxes.
The Illinois Department of Revenue collects data on property sales and calculates the ratio of assessed values to sales values. That data is used to compute the median assessment-to-sales ratio, or the median level of assessment. The Department of Revenue figures for 2018 were released in the spring of 2020.
The Civic Federation estimates the full value of property by dividing the median level of assessment into the total assessed value of each class of property in Cook County. For those classes for which the Department of Revenue does not calculate a median level of assessment, the level set by County ordinance is used.