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Cook County property values back to 2008 level—almost
A Civic Federation study suggests the total market value of all real estate in the county continues to claw its way back to the pre-subprime crash level, but isn't there yet.

Monday, September 30, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business
by Greg Hinz

Cook County property values back to 2008 level—almost

A Civic Federation study suggests the total market value of all real estate in the county continues to claw its way back to the pre-subprime crash level, but isn't there yet.

Getty Images

Chicago property values still haven't fully recovered from the subprime mortgage crash, but they're starting to get close.

That’s the bottom line of a new report from the Civic Federation on the estimated full market value of all real estate in Cook County, be it offices, shopping malls or homes and apartments.

According to the report—which combines data collected by state and county agencies for property taxes and then backs out items such as the state's multiplier—the full value of all property in the county was $586 billion in tax year 2017, the latest for which full figures are available.

That's roughly $30 billion less than a decade ago and $80 billion below the peak figure of $666 billion in 2008. But values almost certainly have risen in the two years since 2017, potentially putting the county pretty close to the old record.

On the other hand, none of these figures has been adjusted for inflation. So to catch up to the 2008 figure in real terms, the total value of property in Cook County would have to be higher than $666 billion.

Federation President Laurence Msall chose to underline the good news.

"This fifth consecutive year of growth in the estimated full value of property in Cook County is a positive sign that the real estate market continues to recover," he said.

CITY VS. SUBURBS

The "estimated full market value of real estate in the city of Chicago increased by 4.4% in tax assessment year 2017 while the northwest and southwest suburbs experienced increases of 4.0% and 6.6%, respectively," according to the report.

Long term—over the past decade—the city proper now has recovered its loss of value, but suburban areas still are down.

The report does not distinguish between types of property, but the recovery appears to be much faster in commercial than in residential, where values still are lagging even more, according to reporting by my colleague Dennis Rodkin.



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