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 corner lots using this new Property Finder filter

A member requested that they would like a filter in Property Finder to locate corner lots. After a short feasibility investigation we found that it would be possible by locating parcels that are within 40 feet of two differently-named streets. 

The "At an intersection or corner lot" filter can be combined with all other filters. We recommend adding – at least for searches in Chicago – a zoning district filter as well as a filter to exclude condos (this will also speed up the search). (If you don't exclude condos then there will be 100s of results in Property Finder that don't represent developable lots.)

map of the 202 corner properties in Near West Side community area described in the post

How to use the corner lot filter

  • Open a Place Report in Cook County (Chicago community area, ZIP code, etc.)
  • In the Property Finder filters, look for the "Additional filters" heading and select the "reveal additional filters" link to expand this section and show the additional filters.
  • Combine this with another filter. We recommend excluding condo (2-99), EX, and RR, properties in the "Exclude this property class" filter.
  • Select the "Apply filters" button. A moment later the data table and the map will refresh with the results. 

screenshot of the "corner lot" filter

In the Near West Side community area of Chicago there are 202 corner properties that are zoned to allow multi-family housing.

Property Finder enhancements save steps for finding sold properties and properties by age

Two enhancements to Property Finder save time searching and browsing for properties in Chicago and Cook County. 

1. When filtering for properties that have sold (in a given time period, or at any time), the sale details will be shown in the results. No longer do you need to open the Property Report and look for the sales details – this saves one or two extra steps, depending on the level of detail you were looking for. 

2. It's possible to filter by building age, using new data from the Cook County Assessor's Office. Find the building age filter by selecting the "reveal additional filters" link at the bottom of the Property Finder filters. 

Like all Property Finder filters, the two can be used together!

Find construction projects in Chicago based on trends, including #UnusedZoningCapacity and INVEST South/West

Chicago Cityscape modified Building Permits Browser again to make it easier to find examples of specific trends. In two clicks, find construction projects that can be categorized into one or more these topics:

  1. #UnusedZoningCapacity
  2. Commercial to residential conversion
  3. INVEST South/West
  4. Adaptive reuse
  5. Passive House

Look for "Filter by tag or topic" in the filters section below the permits map and data table.

screenshot of the tag and topic filters

We manually categorize building permits into these and other categories, so they may be missing some projects. View Tags & Topics to see the full list of trends we track (not all of them can be filtered in Building Permits Browser; send us your feedback on what tags & topics you'd like to filter).

Search for civic projects' building permits with a single click

Chicago Cityscape has added a new Quick Filter to the Building Permits Browser to quickly find building permits issued to public agencies. BPB is used by trades unions, architects, and real estate brokers to find where projects have occurred, who designed what, and to learn about the history of a building. 

The new Quick Filter is called "Civic projects", and we're currently beta testing it. Try it now!

The "Civic projects" Quick Filter activates with a single click and pulls up building permits since 2006 that were issued to the Chicago Park District, Chicago Transit Authority, the Public Building Commission, and Chicago Public Schools. While their building permits comprise less than 0.5 percent, multiple are issued every month. 

screenshot of the Quick Filter for "Civic projects"

We know that it's helpful to track these public agency projects because they are important developments in Chicago. While this is in beta testing, please send us any feedback

Notes about the data: The BPB may not show 100 percent of the building permits issued to those three agencies since 2006 because the names used on the permits may be different from time to time. For example, sometimes the agency's name is used, and it's very easy to filter for their permits, but sometimes a project manager's name is used and we may not catch this until later.

2022 Q3 sales data has been published

Chicago Cityscape has added the latest quarter of property sales in Cook County. There were 35,283 sales recorded between July 1, 2022, and September 30, 2022. That is 3,277 fewer sales compared to 2022 Q2.

Browse all of the property sales in our database, which now goes back to 2015.


Bonus update: The property sales & transaction details page has been improved to spell out what were abbreviated characteristics, and include links to more information. 

For example, buyer and seller names are linked so that you can find other sales they may have been part of. Another new characteristic is indicating the land use that the parties indicated on their PTAX submission; previously only the letter referring to a specific use on the form was shown which was only helpful to those who regularly use PTAX forms.

screenshot with new characteristics hihglighted

Property sales from 2015 have been added

Chicago Cityscape's Property Sales Browser has gone back in time by adding sales in Cook County in 2015. Our database now covers 2015 to the first half of 2022. 

In 2015, there were 84,616 property sales in Cook County, which was 95.5 percent of sales recorded through the State of Illinois's online MyDec system (not every county participated).

Use our Property Sales Browser to look for property sales across Cook County. Narrow your search by using these filters:

  • Property class
  • Date
  • Price
  • City
  • Buyer or seller name

Within seconds, our system will sift through 885,000 sales in Cook County to match your search parameters. 

Property sales data is also available at and around an Address Snapshot you look up, or within a Place Snapshot (ZIP code, Chicago community area, or a Personal Place that you draw yourself).

Search for properties in Chicago using the citywide Property Finder map

Chicago Cityscape's venerable Property Finder tool now works for citywide searches. Elevate a search to include properties beyond the smaller areas that previously limited our members – to the entire 234 square miles of Chicago. 

There are over 900,000 properties across Chicago. The same Property Finder filters you're used to at the community area, ward, ZIP code, or Personal Place level, work citywide. 

graphic of part of Chicago showing some properties and a repeat of the example that's in this post

Create simple or complex groups of filters to locate the exact kinds of properties you want to prospect. For example, we found 2,275 parking lots that are (a) larger than 7,000 s.f., (b) in a TOD area and zoning district that allows zero car parking spaces for residential use, and (c) has a supermarket within one mile.

Oh - that "supermarket within one mile" is another new feature 😎

This feature is in beta and please be patient. It takes computers a lot of work to apply your filters to over 900,000 properties. Send us your feedback!

Finding property citywide starts with these two steps

  1. Open the Chicago (municipality) Place Snapshot, or select the "Research" menu button and select the "Property Finder - Chicago citywide" option.
  2. Select the "Property Finder" button below the map. After a moment, a datatable and filters will appear. The first 10 properties, ordered by PIN, will show in the datatable, and in the map.

screenshot of the menu to get to Property Finder

New incentive added: Solar & wind energy tax credit boost

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, new and existing national tax credits will encourage the adoption of more energy efficient building systems and constructing renewable energy facilities. The standard investment tax credit for a new qualifying solar or wind energy is six percent while the bonus tax credit for investing in low-income communities is worth 10 additional percentage points.

There is even an option, in the same areas, to gain an additional 10 points if constructing the facility on a qualifying rental residential building or if it will benefit low-income households. 

Chicago Cityscape has added this geographically-based "IRA solar & wind bonus credit" to Incentives Checker. Search for it within Incentives Checker using the keywords IRA, solar, wind, or energy.

screenshot of Incentives Checker with the "IRA" keyword being used to locate this particular incentive at an eligible address

Look up an address in Illinois to see if it might qualify for the energy credit boost.

New Property Finder feature: Show both types of government land at the same time

By request, one can now filter Property Finder to show property owned by the City of Chicago and property associated with the Cook County Land Bank Authority at the same time. Previously, Cityscape members could only show one or the other. 

Property Finder now also makes the distinction between property currently owned by the City of Chicago and property previously owned. 

The screenshot below also shows how the two filters have moved from "Special filters" to a new "Gov't owned land" group of filters.

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