News Release

CHICAGO — Prices for Cook County single family homes in the first quarter of 2014 were up 16 percent year over year, according to the June 12 release of the Cook County House Price Index from the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University. This represents the largest year-over-year increase in house prices in the 16 years covered by the institute and the third consecutive quarter to see a record-breaking increase in house prices over the previous year.

The index found that house prices within the city of Chicago are recovering faster than in suburban Cook County. In the city, prices for single family homes increased nearly 20 percent, while in suburban Cook County the increase was roughly 13 percent. The most recent data also showed a 3.8 percent quarter-over-quarter increase in the house prices in the city of Chicago while suburban house prices saw a 2.4 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. This leaves single family home prices in the city at pre-crash levels last seen in early 2003, while in suburban Cook County those prices are at late-2001 levels. For the county as a whole, prices are at levels similar to those seen in mid-2002.

The index also looked at the long- and short-term price trends in areas of Cook County that had been impacted to different degrees by the foreclosure crisis. In Cook County neighborhoods hardest hit by the foreclosure crisis, house prices increased 30 percent year over year, almost double the increase seen in areas that were least affected by the crisis. However these highly foreclosure-distressed neighborhoods still have a long road to full price recovery. The index found house prices in these areas were still down 55 percent from their peak, and that prices were at pre-1997 levels. Cook County neighborhoods that experienced the lowest-levels of foreclosures during the crisis continue to have consistent and stable price gains, increasing 15.5 percent year over year, and in these neighborhoods, house prices are currently at levels last seen in early 2005.

“The significant price improvement we see in neighborhoods with high levels of foreclosure is a positive sign indicating these areas may finally have hit bottom and are experiencing a clearing of their foreclosure-distressed inventory,” said Geoff Smith, executive director of the Institute for Housing Studies. “However, these neighborhoods still substantially lag the rest of the county with prices well below 2000-level prices. Their price trends are in stark contrast to neighborhoods that saw the least foreclosure distress during the housing crisis and where prices are currently only 10 percent off their peak.”

The Institute for Housing Studies is a research center based at DePaul University that provides analysis and data to inform affordable housing policy and practice. The institute’s first quarter 2014 House Price Index tracks quarterly price changes for single family properties in Cook County with repeat sales from the first quarter of 1997 through the first quarter 2014. The report is at


Geoff Smith

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