Chicago Cityscape has a workaround for when a property sale wasn't submitted to MyDec

The vast majority of property sales and transactions are required to be submitted – by the sales participants or their agents – to the Illinois Department of Revenue's MyDec database, where Chicago Cityscape sources its Cook County property sales data. 

Occasionally, some transactions are not submitted to MyDec. Chicago Cityscape has a way to warn its members when that may have happened using our new recordings database. 

Currently, Property Reports highlight the date of the last sale (using information provided to MyDec). What's new is that when we have a record of a recording that is of a deed type, Property Report will highlight that fact and advise you to look in the list of recordings for a deed recording that has a price associated with it. 

The screenshot below, of a property that didn't have a MyDec submission, better explains what Chicago Cityscape members should be on the lookout for.


Find property sales that are arms length transactions

Chicago Cityscape added a new filter in Property Finder and Property Sales Browser that filters out sales that are likely not arms length transactions. We are excited to offer this to our members who are brokers and appraisers as this will make it easier to identify incomparable sales. 

To find arms-length transactions we are using most of the filters that the Cook County Assessor's Office uses. Our filter uses the following flags to identify if a property is not arms length:

  • sale price of $10,000 or less
  • uses a quit claim deed, executor deed, or beneficial interest instrument
  • has no instrument type specified
  • has a value for any of nine Line 10 items in the PTAX-203 form

Use the checkbox in Property Finder and Property Sales Browser to exclude property sales that are likely not arms length transactions.

In one of our tests we found that 17 percent of property sales in the Near West Side community area had one or more of the flags and were not considered to be an arms length transaction. 

2023 Q3 property sales data has been uploaded

Chicago Cityscape has added the latest quarter of property sales in Cook County. There were 29,435 sales recorded between July 1, 2023, and September 30, 2023. That is a 2.83 percent decrease in sales compared to 2023 Q2.

chart showing property sales counts from 2019 Q1 to 2023 Q3


Read about the change from 2023 Q1 to 2023 Q2.

Our full dataset of Cook County property sales spans the period of 2014 to the third quarter of 2023; data comes from the Illinois Department of Revenue and is updated quarterly, within two weeks of the end of the quarter.

Forty-seven percent of these sales and transactions were for Chicago properties (which is the same as the previous quarter). Use the Property Sales Browser to analyze the number and value of sales in other municipalities.

chart showing the number of property sales per quarter between 2019 Q1 and 2023 Q1 inclusive


Amenities & Social infrastructure updated with 1,000 additional features

Chicago Cityscape updated its amenities database to add 1,000 more features across northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. This database includes coffee shops, medical offices, grocery stores, banks, libraries, restaurants, and other essential places for urban living. Every Property Report and Place Report has been updated as of this writing, including those one-time purchases by non-members.

We use OpenStreetMap as our primary database for this data, which is open source and editable by anyone (although, similar to Wikipedia, only a few dedicated people maintain the database in this region). 

We invite our members to report or suggest new and closed businesses, places of worship, and other places (like parks and playgrounds) and Chicago Cityscape will make the necessary changes to the global database. Contributions others make, and that we make ourselves, are downloadable and usable by anyone. 

When a member uses Property Report to analyze a property on Chicago Cityscape, Amenities & Social infrastructure measures all of these features within a one-mile walking distance and tabulates them. This is useful for developers and brokers to better understand what's near a property. The data are even searchable; enter "grocery" and the map will show only the grocery stores within a one-mile walking distance.

Check out what's proximal to the Harold Washington Library Center in the screenshot and list below.

Community assets within a 1-mile walk of the Harold Washington Library Center

  • 6 grocery stores
  • 4 libraries
  • 65 cafés & coffee shops
  • 25 parks
  • 189 restaurants
  • 73 fast food places
  • 21 banks
  • 61 bars & pubs
  • 0 community gardens
  • 0 community centers
  • 9 pharmacies
  • 6 health & medical
  • 10 schools
  • 0 federally-qualified health centers (FQHC)

Schools map updated for the 2023-2024 school year

Chicago Cityscape has updated its schools map, shown within the Amenities & Social infrastructure sections of Place Reports and Property Reports, for the 2023-2024 school year. This year, there are 5,840 schools in the Illinois State Board of Education database of public, non-public, and other schools. This is compared to 5,625 schools for the 2022-2023 school year. 

The difference in numbers is due to our inclusion of regional programs this year (141 regional programs), 33 additional non-public special education schools, 7 additional non-public schools, 1 additional other school, 1 fewer state-authorized charter school, and 4 fewer public special education schools.

In Property Report for properties in Chicago, school locations are used in the Cannabis Compliance section, as city code requires that dispensaries are more than 500 feet away from school boundary lines.

Chicago Cityscape also has an exclusive statewide schools map (membership required), which can be filtered by municipality and school type.

map of school locations in Illinois showing only special education type


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