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Trends in Estimated Full Value of Real Estate in Cook County

Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Civic Federation

The Civic Federation today released its annual estimate of the full value of real estate in Chicago and the Cook County suburbs. After the rate of decline in estimated property values slowed for the County as a whole in 2011, the rate of decline increased again in 2012. Tax year 2012 is the most recent year for which data are available.

The 2012 estimate of the full value of property in Cook County was $414.4 billion, a decline of $28.4 billion or 6.4% from the 2011 estimated full value. The 2012 estimate marks the sixth year in a row of declining full value in Cook County. Prior to 2007, the estimated full value of real estate in the City of Chicago and the suburbs grew every year going back to at least 1995. The following graph puts the 2012 decline in full value into the context of the long increase in estimated full value since at least the mid-1990s.

While the estimated full value of all real property in Cook County has fallen by 37.8% since the peak in 2006, the estimate for 2012 is 66.3% higher than estimated values in 1995. Between 1995 and the peak value in 2006, estimated values for the county as a whole had climbed by 167.3%.

This estimate 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 mean assessment-to-sales ratio, or the median level of assessment. The Department of Revenue figures for 2012 were released in the spring of 2014.

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.



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