Aggregate County values remain below 2006 peak, while Chicago estimate surpasses previous high point
The full market value of real estate in Cook County was nearly $635 billion in tax assessment year 2019 according to an annual estimate released today by the Civic Federation. The 2019 total value estimate represents an increase of $25.2 billion, or 4.1%, from the 2018 estimated full value. Tax year 2019 is the most recent year for which data are available. The 2019 estimates represent the seventh year that real estate values in Cook County increased following six straight years of decline in value.
“While the estimated full value of Cook County real estate for tax year 2019 remains slightly below the peak from tax year 2006, this seventh consecutive year of growth is positive sign that the real estate market continued to recover following the Great Recession but is still impacted by that recession’s lingering effects, and does not yet include the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” 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 influence of the pandemic, the resulting recession or recent inflationary pressures on real estate values are not incorporated into this report but will be in the coming 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 3.9% in tax assessment year 2019, while the northwest and southwest suburbs experienced increases of 4.2% and 4.8%, respectively.
While collective Cook County property values are higher than a decade ago, they still fall short of the high water mark of $666.2 billion reached in 2006. However, in tax year 2019, City of Chicago property slightly surpassed the 2006 peak figure, up from $329.8 billion in 2006 to $335.9 billion in 2019.
Between 2010 and 2019 the estimated full value of all classes of property in Cook County as a whole increased, with the exception of Class 5b industrial properties in Chicago and the southwest suburbs, which saw a decrease of 25.9% and 0.7%, respectively.
As shown in the chart below, the estimated full value of property decreased from $450 billion in 2010 to a low of $414 billion in 2012, then rose to $635 billion in 2018.
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