6 Questions And Answers About The Home Improvement Exemption

22 10 2013

The Home Improvement Exemption allows you to increase the value of your home with up to $75,000 worth of improvements without increasing your property taxes for at least four years.

Who qualifies for a Home Improvement Exemption?

The exemption is available to owners of single-family homes, condominiums, cooperatives, and apartment buildings up to six units.

How does a Home Improvement Exemption work?

You will automatically receive the exemption when the Cook County Assessor’s Office field checks the building permit for the improvement. A notice will be sent to you after the check is completed.

What if there is damage to my home?

The Home Improvement Exemption can also be used for repair necessitated by structural damage as a result of severe weather conditions, such as flooding.

What is not covered by a Home Improvement Exemption?

The exemption is not granted for loss of personal property, normal weather damage, or routine maintenance. Routine maintenance includes repairs to or replacement of parts that would not increase the value of your property. The following are examples of normal upkeep:

  • Repair or replace roofing materials, sidewalks, driveways, or fencing
  • Insulate and/or add storm windows and doors
  • Add or replace gutters and downspouts
  • Place siding over existing frame structure
  • Add or improve trees, lawns, and landscaping
  • Paint, decorate, plaster, or change exterior ornamentations
  • Replace furnace, or replace old heating systems with solar heating
  • Replace kitchen cabinets, flooring, fixtures
  • Replace or add water softener, or add larger hot water heater
  • Add outdoor lighting, burglar or fire alarms
  • Replace electrical systems or plumbing fixtures
  • Install above-ground swimming pool or outdoor playground facilities
  • Add automatic garage door opener
  • Add aluminum soffit and facia
Who can I call to find out if I qualify for a Home Improvement Exemption?

To learn whether you may qualify for the Home Improvement Exemption, call the Cook County Assessor’s Office at 312/443-7550.

Source – Cook County Assessor’s Office





Inventories Are Rising – September 2013 Real Estate Market Summary for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

8 10 2013

Months of Supply of Inventory continued to rise in the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop in September 2013, leveling out the buying frenzy of the spring and summer.

When comparing September 2013 to 2012 we are still seeing positive movement in Sales, Inventory and Median Prices; however, when comparing the past four months, Unit Inventories have remained at the same levels (about 3000 units). The Months of Supply of Inventory continues to increase from a low of 2.2 in April to 3.0 in August and 4.0 in September. This is not necessarily a cause for alarm as 6.0 is traditionally considered the dividing line between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market and inventories usually rise at this time of the year. (Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports)

The luxury market,  homes priced over $1,000,000, continues to lag behind the lower price points. While September 2013 Unit Sales increased 19.1% over September 2012, Median Prices dropped 3.4% and Months Of Supply Of Inventory rose to 8.0.

Despite these changes, this continues to be a very active market for buyers and sellers at all price points.

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC).

Sep-13 Sep-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 616 512 20.3
Lakeview 164 140 17.1
Lincoln Park 150 113 32.7
Near North 225 185 21.6
Loop 77 74 4.1
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 407 363 12.1
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 153 102 50.0
$ 1,000,000 – Up 56 47 19.1
.
Units Under Contract – Total 514 468 9.8
Lakeview 157 129 21.7
Lincoln Park 105 85 23.5
Near North 185 180   2.8
Loop 67 74 -9.5
.
Unit Inventory – Total 3,047 3,469 -12.2
Lakeview 885 880   0.6
Lincoln Park 627 692 -9.4
Near North 1146 1422 -19.4
Loop 389 475 -18.1
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 4.0 5.6 -28.1
Lakeview 3.6 5.1 -28.5
Lincoln Park 3.9 5.8 -33.2
Near North 4.4 6.2 -28.2
Loop 4.2 4.9 -14.6
.
Median Pricing – Total 390,500 358,750 8.9
Lakeview 349,950 330,000   5.7
Lincoln Park 500,000 430,000 16.3
Near North 387,500 355,000   9.2
Loop 375,000 307,000 22.1




Dramatic Changes in Real Estate Market Time for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and The Loop

24 09 2013

From 2007 to 2011 the Number Of Days On The Market was a statistic that struck fear in the hearts of many Realtors. As the market continues to improve, we are seeing dramatic decreases in market time in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Near North and the Loop.

When broken down by price point the luxury market has not responded as well as those homes priced under $1,000,000. Homes priced over $2,000,000 have shown almost no improvement. It should be noted that this statistic can easily be skewed by one or two properties with extreme listing times, as there are fewer homes sold in the over $2,000,000 price point.

The chart below compares Average Days On The Market of Units Under Contract for the past 3 years by area and price point.

The numbers represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC).

AVERAGE DAYS ON THE MARKET Aug-13 Aug-12 Aug-11
.
Units Under Contract – Total 68 130 175
Lakeview 69 139 145
Lincoln Park 59 102 142
Near North 67 160 192
Loop 76 70 212
.
Units Under Contract By Price Point
0 – $500,000 51 117 172
$500,000 – $1,000,000 74 152 157
$1,000,000 – $2,000,000 148 150 215
$2,000,000 – Up 250 215 244




August 2013 – Real Estate Market Summary for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

10 09 2013

Sales continued to outpace inventory in combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop in August 2013. The real estate market on the North Side remained very active; however, there were some interesting exceptions.

LUXURY MARKET

In August 2013 overall sales increased by 14.7%, median prices increased by 4.1% and the average Months of Supply of Inventory dropped to 2.8 vs. August 2012. The luxury market (homes priced over $1,000,000) did not perform as well. Sales of luxury homes dropped 2.5% compared to August 2012, Median Prices dropped 4.1% and the Months of Supply of Inventory rose to 7.0.

LINCOLN PARK

Lincoln Park was the only area to show decreases in Unit Sales (-2.5%) and Units Under Contract (-4.0%) when compared to August 2012. It should be noted that Unit Inventories and Months of Supply of Inventory kept pace with the other areas. While Median Prices rose slightly (+0.7%), they were significantly lower than the other 3 areas.

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC).

Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports.

Aug-13 Aug-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 788 687 14.7
Lakeview 241 180 33.9
Lincoln Park 158 160 -2.5
Near North 299 267 12.0
Loop 92 80 15.0
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 540 475 13.7
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 177 139 27.3
$ 1,000,000 – Up 70 73 -4.1
.
Units Under Contract – Total 668 569 17.4
Lakeview 184 159 15.7
Lincoln Park 121 126 -4.0
Near North 270 213 26.8
Loop 93 71 31.0
.
Unit Inventory – Total 2,907 3,641 -20.2
Lakeview 834 949 -12.1
Lincoln Park 569 734 -22.5
Near North 1128 1408 -23.9
Loop 378 478 -20.9
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 2.8 4.7 -41.1
Lakeview 2.9 4.2 -31.2
Lincoln Park 2.9 4.0 -26.8
Near North 2.7 5.3 -50.0
Loop 2.7 5.2 -49.0
.
Median Pricing – Total 380,000 365,000 4.1
Lakeview 349,900 326,600 7.1
Lincoln Park 471,000 467,500 0.7
Near North 385,500 342,000 12.7
Loop 328,500 310,000 6.0




A Comparison Of Bank Owned Properties To Non Bank Owned Properties – Lakeview, Lincoln Park And Near North – July 2013 vs July 2012

20 08 2013

Since 2007, Bank Owned Properties have been one of the focal points of the real estate industry, as they have had a devastating affect on the market. While Bank Owned Properties still represent 24.4% of all homes for sale in the Chicago area, there were 51.8% fewer Bank Owned Properties for sale in July 2013 when compared to July 2012.

Inventory levels of Bank Owned Properties in the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park and Near North have dropped to under 6% of the total inventory and have almost become a non-issue in these neighborhoods.

I have attached 3 reports and a short recap below that show comparisons of Bank Owned Properties to Non Bank Owned Properties by month for the past 2 years, for Near North, Lincoln Park and Lakeview. (see below)

INVENTORY

In July 2013,  Bank Owned Properties accounted for 5.5% of the total homes for sale. This was 67.2% lower than in July of 2012. Non Bank Owned Properties accounted for 94.5% of the total inventory in July, which was 20.2% lower than the previous year.  For the combined areas, there were 142 Bank Owned Properties for sale in July of 2013 vs 433 in July of 2012 and 504 in July of 2011.

SALES

Unit Sales of Bank Owned Properties were 6.8% of the total sales in July 2013  and represented a 27.3% decrease over July 2012. Non Bank Owned Properties represented 93.2% of July 2013 sales and increased 20.5%  from July of 2012.

PRICING

Median Prices of Bank Owned Properties rose 11.4% in July 2013 in comparison to July 2012. Non Bank Owned Property Median Prices increased 3.3% during the same time period and averaged significantly higher ($412,000) than Bank Owned Property prices ($207,750).

Please click on the 3 reports below  for more detailed, printable information. Each report is 2 pages with both graphs and spread sheets.

Unit Sales July 2013 – Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned

Unit Inventory July 2013 – Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned

Median Pricing July 2013 – Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned

Numbers represent properties listed in the Northern Illinois MLS

Source – MREDLLC





July 2013 – Real Estate Market Summary for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

7 08 2013

Sales continued to outpace inventory in the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop in July 2013. The real estate market on the North Side continues to improve through the summer months, despite rising interest rates.

While the buying frenzy of the spring months seems to have subsided slightly, the July numbers show that this is still an extremely active market with dramatic increases in Unit Sales, decreases in Unit Inventory and gains in Median Pricing. The overall results are remarkably consistent among most of the areas and categories. (See chart below).

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC).

Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports.

Jul-13 Jul-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 789 628 25.6
Lakeview 247 198 24.7
Lincoln Park 156 132 18.2
Near North 289 227 27.3
Loop 97 71 36.6
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 515 427 20.6
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 207 134 54.5
$ 1,000,000 – Up 67 66 1.0
.
Units Under Contract – Total 750 556 34.9
Lakeview 207 158 31.0
Lincoln Park 162 115 40.9
Near North 293 217 35.0
Loop 88 66 33.3
.
Unit Inventory – Total 2,968 3,828 -22.5
Lakeview 828 993 -16.6
Lincoln Park 610 769 -20.7
Near North 1146 1603 -28.5
Loop 384 463 -17.1
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 2.4 5.1 -53.4
Lakeview 2.3 4.5 -50.1
Lincoln Park 2.2 4.8 -54.9
Near North 2.5 5.6 -56.6
Loop 2.8 5.3 -46.2
.
Median Pricing – Total 395,000 365,000 8.2
Lakeview 360,000 355,000 1.4
Lincoln Park 516,500 483,000 6.9
Near North 370,000 366,000 1.1
Loop 329,900 259,450 27.2




June 2013 vs 2012 Comparison of Sales, Inventory and Pricing for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

9 07 2013

June 2013 saw a continuation of low inventory levels and high demand in the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop; however, not at the pace that we have seen in past months. There were significant variations in Unit Sales and Median Pricing among the four areas. (See chart below)

The luxury market continues to perform at a  different pace.

MEDIAN PRICING

Median Prices for the combined areas rose 5.7% in June 2013 vs. 2012. The Near North Side rose by 15.7%  over last year and Lincoln Park increased by 4.3% , while The Loop and Lakeview showed small decreases.

Looking at the same results by price point, homes priced under $500,000 showed no change against last year, while homes priced between $500,000 and 1,000,000 increased by 3.7% and homes priced over $1,000,000 decreased by 2.5%.

UNIT SALES

Overall Unit Sales increased in June 2013 by 15.3% over June 2012.  Lincoln Park and the Loop had increases of 1.2% and 2.3% respectively while Lakeview had an increase of 26.7% and Near North 21.3%.

Unit Sales increases were consistent among all of the price points.

LUXURY MARKET

The market for homes priced over $2,000,000 continues to improve; however, there are some significant differences from the other price points. Unit Sales were up 11.1% in June 2013  over last year and Units Under Contract rose 26.3% ; however,  Median Prices dropped 4.8%. The most dramatic difference was in inventory. While Unit Inventories dropped 16% over June 2012, Months of Supply of Inventory rose to 12.4, up 8.7% over last year.

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC)

Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports.

Jun-13 Jun-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 806 699 15.3
Lakeview 266 210 26.7
Lincoln Park 161 163 -1.2
Near North 290 239 21.3
Loop 89 87 2.3
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 541 475 13.9
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 188 157 19.7
$ 1,000,000 – Up 78 66 15.2
.
Units Under Contract – Total 871 614 41.9
Lakeview 275 179 53.6
Lincoln Park 162 129 25.6
Near North 323 229 41.0
Loop 111 77 44.2
.
Unit Inventory – Total 3,007 4,024 -25.3
Lakeview 849 1052 -19.3
Lincoln Park 596 819 -27.2
Near North 1162 1650 -29.6
Loop 400 503 -20.5
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 2.0 4.8 -58.7
Lakeview 1.7 4.2 -60.7
Lincoln Park 2.1 4.6 -54.1
Near North 2.2 5.5 -60.5
Loop 2.2 4.7 -53.7
.
Median Pricing – Total 391,000 370,000  5.7
Lakeview 345,000 354,500 -2.7
Lincoln Park 480,000 460,000  4.3
Near North 405,000 350,000  15.7
Loop 327,500 330,000 -0.8




May 2013 – Real Estate Market Summary for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

18 06 2013

Sales continued to outpace inventory in combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop in May 2013 and the real estate market on the North Side remained very active. While there were a few inconsistencies, Sales, Inventory and Median Pricing continued in a positive direction in all four areas (see chart below).

Some interesting notes :

LUXURY MARKET

Homes priced over $1,000,000 showed a 20% increase in Unit Sales and a remarkable 14.7% increase in Median Pricing when comparing May 2013 to May 2012. The Months of Supply of Inventory; however, is at 7.4 which puts this price point back into a buyers market using 6.0 as the dividing line between a buyers market and a sellers market. The Months of Supply of Inventory for homes priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 was 2.1 and 1.7 for homes priced under $500,000. Both of these price points indicate a strong sellers market.

MEDIAN PRICING

Overall Median Pricing for the combined areas continued in a positive trend with a 3.2% increase in May 2013 when compared to the same period last year. There were two noticeable exceptions. Lakeview prices dropped 8.1% and homes prices between $500,000 & $1,000,000 dropped 1.0% during the same period.

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC)

Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports.

May-13 May-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 844 640 31.9
Lakeview 253 177 42.9
Lincoln Park 203 129 57.4
Near North 299 256 16.8
Loop 89 78 5.0
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 564 447 26.2
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 208 133 56.4
$ 1,000,000 – Up 72 60 20.0
.
Units Under Contract – Total 856 640 35.2
Lakeview 287 193 48.7
Lincoln Park 181 128 41.4
Near North 303 244 24.2
Loop 94 75 3.3
.
Unit Inventory – Total 3,049 4,259 -28.4
Lakeview 884 1143 -22.7
Lincoln Park 586 858 -31.7
Near North 1178 1763 -33.2
Loop 401 495 -10.3
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 2.1 5.0 -57.8
Lakeview 1.7 4.2 -59.2
Lincoln Park 1.8 4.9 -63.5
Near North 2.4 5.6 -56.4
Loop 2.8 5.0 -44.6
.
Median Pricing – Total 382,500 370,500  3.2
Lakeview 356,000 387,500 -8.1
Lincoln Park 459,000 410,930  11.7
Near North 400,000 355,500  12.7
Loop 334,000 317,950  5.0




April 2013 – Real Estate Market Summary for Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop

9 05 2013

Record low inventory levels and high demand in April 2013 saw the Months of Supply of Inventory fall under 2.0 for the first time in the combined areas of Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Near North and the Loop. It is generally agreed that anything below 6.0 is considered a seller’s market and anything above is a buyer’s market. The  inventory levels continue to produce record low market times and multiple offers for many properties that are priced correctly. (See chart below)

MEDIAN PRICING

Median Prices for the combined areas rose 11.5% for April 2013 vs. 2012. The Near North Side increased 10.3% over last year, the Loop rose 11.9%, Lincoln Park 14.8% and Lakeview increased 6.1%. When looking at the same results by price point all showed increases. Homes priced under $500,000 increased by 9.6%, homes priced between 500,000 and 1,000,000 rose 1.1%.and homes priced over 1,000,000 increased by 1.6%.

SALES

Overall Unit Sales increased in April 2013 by 29.4% over April 2012 and Units Under Contract rose 37.7% over last year. Unit Sales for homes prices over $1,000,000 increased 31.7%. Homes priced between $500,000 and 1,000,000 rose 72.6% over last year and homes priced under $500,000 increased by 17.9%. These numbers are quite impressive taking into account the low inventory levels and the fact that market had begun to heat up by April 2012.

INVENTORY

Units of Inventory and Months of Supply of Inventory (MSI) continued to drop significantly in all areas and are having a dramatic affect on the market. Months of Supply of Inventory averaged 1.7 (MSI), 63.0% lower than a year ago. Homes priced under $500,000 had a 1.3 MSI. Those priced between $500,000 and $1,000,000 had a 2.0 MSI and homes priced over $1,000,000 had a 4.4 MSI.

The numbers below represent homes listed in the Chicago Multiple Listing Service (MREDLLC).

Please click on the Market Statistics tab above for more detailed printable reports.

Apr-13 Apr-12 % +/-
.
Unit Sales – Total 639 494 29.4
Lakeview 198 142 38.0
Lincoln Park 130 103 26.2
Near North 235 187 25.7
Loop 78 62 25.8
.
Unit Sales By Price Point
0 – $500,000 421 357 17.9
$500,000 – $ 1,000,000 164 95 72.6
$ 1,000,000 – Up 54 41 31.7
.
Units Under Contract – Total 950 690 37.7
Lakeview 295 196 50.5
Lincoln Park 195 168 16.1
Near North 331 244 35.7
Loop 129 82 57.3
.
Unit Inventory – Total 2,974 4,383 -32.1
Lakeview 833 1176 -29.2
Lincoln Park 553 936 -40.9
Near North 1180 1752 -32.6
Loop 408 519 -21.4
.
Inventory (Months Of Supply) 1.7 4.7 -63.0
Lakeview 1.5 4.4 -66.5
Lincoln Park 1.5 3.9 -61.7
Near North 2.1 5.5 -61.9
Loop 1.8 4.7 -61.2
.
Median Pricing – Total 385,500 345,750 11.5
Lakeview 385,250 363,000 6.1
Lincoln Park 476,250 415,000 14.8
Near North 375,000 340,000 10.3
Loop 316,250 282,500 11.9




A Comparison Of Bank Owned Properties To Non Bank Owned Properties – Lakeview, Lincoln Park And Near North – March 2013 vs March 2012

24 04 2013

We last compared Bank Owned Properties to Non Bank Owned Properties in August 2012. The market has changed dramatically in the past 8 months and I thought it would be interesting to make the same comparison for March 2013. Bank Owned Properties have not impacted Near North, Lincoln Park and Lakeview  to the extent that they have in other parts of the city and their dwindling numbers are making them a “non issue” in the current recovering market.

I have attached 3 reports below that show comparisons of Bank Owned Properties to Non Bank Owned Properties by month for the past 2 years, for Near North, Lincoln Park and Lakeview. (see below)

INVENTORY

In March 2013  Bank Owned Properties accounted for 7.2%  of the total homes for sale and unit inventory owned by the banks. This was 61.9% lower than in March of 2012. Non Bank Owned Properties accounted for 92.8 % of the total inventory in March, which was 33.3% lower than the previous year.  For the combined areas, there were 174 Bank Owned Properties for sale in March of 2013 vs 450 in March of 2012 and 531 in March of 2011.

SALES

Unit sales of Bank Owned Properties were 12.6% of the total sales in March 2013  and represented a 25.0% decrease over March 2012. Non Bank Owned Properties represented 87.4% of March 2013 sales and increased 21.4%  from March of 2012.

PRICING

Median prices of Bank Owned Properties rose 15.4% in March 2013 in comparison to March 2012. Non Bank Owned Property median prices increased 5.5% during the same time period and median prices  averaged significantly higher ($395,500) than Bank Owned Property prices ($230,900).

Please click on the 3 reports below (enlarge to 100%) for more detailed, printable information. Each report is 2 pages with both graphs and spread sheets.

Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned – Unit Sales

Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned – Unit Inventory

Bank Owned vs Non Bank Owned – Median Pricing

Numbers represent properties listed in the Northern Illinois MLS

Source – MREDLLC








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