October 30, 2020
The full market value of real estate in Cook County was nearly $610 billion in tax assessment year 2018 according to an annual estimate released today by the Civic Federation. The 2018 total value estimate represents an increase of $24.3 billion, or 4.1%, from the 2017 estimated full value. Tax year 2018 is the most recent year for which data are available. The 2018 estimate represents the sixth year that real estate values in Cook County increased following six straight years of decline in value.
“This sixth consecutive year of growth in the estimated full value of property in Cook County was a positive sign that the real estate market was still recovering in 2018 following the Great Recession,” said Civic Federation President Laurence Msall. Prior to 2007, the estimated full value of real estate in the City of Chicago and suburbs grew every year going back to at least 1995. “It’s important to note that any impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on real estate values are not incorporated into this report and will not be for several years.”
In addition to Cook County as a whole, the report estimates the full market value of real estate in the City of Chicago, north Cook County suburbs and south Cook County suburbs. The estimated full market value of real estate in the City of Chicago increased by 5.6% in tax assessment year 2018, while the northwest and southwest suburbs experienced increases of 2.6% and 2.5%, respectively.
While property values are higher than a decade ago, they are still short of the high water mark of $666.2 billion reached in 2006.Between 2009 and 2018 the estimated full value of all classes of property in Cook County as a whole increased by 10.8%. As shown in the chart below, the estimated full value of property decreased from $550 billion in 2009 to a low of $414 billion in 2012, a decline of 24.7%, then rose to $610 billion in 2018, an increase of 47.3%.
The full market value estimates in this report are based on 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 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 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.
 In 2007 real estate values began to decline, hitting a low point in 2012.