Each week Illinois REALTORS® rounds up market news you might have missed. Here’s coverage form the past week.

Real Estate Industry

Housing market in Illinois contributes $139.2B to economy in 2018

For every home sold in the state, about $18,000 was generated from a package of items including fees and moving expenses. “New home construction and sales accounted for 50 percent of the industry’s economic input in Illinois last year…” (Chicago Agent)

Illinois home sales see recovery from previous month, still lower than last year

Illinois REALTORS® released its May housing report which showed sales were down slightly, although median prices posted gains. Time on market numbers remained strong, though, showing continued interest in the market. (Illinois REALTORS®)

Some parts of Chicago getting hefty property tax increases

Property owners in parts of Chicago’s downtown and north side could pay $500-600 more than last year, or about 11 percent. (Real Deal)

Growing wage divide part of reason Chicago, state is seeing population declines

Pew asks the question: Why is Illinois hemorrhaging residents? The reasons range from the weather to the state’s economic climate which includes a lack of affordable housing. According to the article, the population in the state has dropped 157,000 in the past five years. (Pew)

Also: Low-wage workers can’t afford two-bedroom rentals anywhere in Illinois, report states (Curbed)


Regulators work to define, limit emotional support animals

Ducks, insects join array of animals which property owners must contend with

Landlords are increasingly cracking down on an array of emotional support animals, stating that tenants are abusing a system that has allowed for the aids. “We’ve seen everything from reptiles to insects,” said Amanda Gill, government affairs director for the Florida Apartment Association, which represents landlords. State and federal regulators are grappling with how to handle the issue. (NYT)

Bonus: Illinois REALTORS® Chief Legal Counsel Betsy Urbance provides guidance on how to approach the issue of service animals. Illinois Department of Human Rights guidebook on making reasonable accommodations.


Phoenix seen as ground zero for computer-driven real estate experiments

Several high-tech real estate forms are using algorithms to determine which properties to buy and how to price them, bringing “Wall Street-style efficiencies and Silicon Valley software to the housing business.” (WSJ, subscription required).

Investors flock to inner cities in search of affordable housing

With shortages of affordable housing afflicting many metro markets, investors are turning to buying up single-family inner-city homes that might have not gotten a close look a decade ago. The trend in Atlanta and other cities is changing the face of neighborhoods, in some cases taking blighted properties and restoring them to their former glory and boosting prices in the process. (NYT)

Property rights

Rent Control likely to return as issue in Springfield 

A key measure seeking to eliminate a statewide ban on Rent Control failed to get out of subcommittee in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly. But a key backer says it will be back and supporters are looking at legislation passed in New York which places hefty restrictions on rental property owners. Illinois REALTORS® Brian Bernardoni is quoted: “All pieces of legislation are zombies, and (rent control) is like Friday the 13th.” (Real Deal)

Affordability challenge drives NY lawmakers to broaden restrictions on rental property

New York is poised to implement a package of rules which will curb large annual increases in rents. The legislation, which passed the state’s House and Senate and appears to have the blessing of the governor, would also limit the amount of a rent increase on a unit when a tenant moves out. (WSJ and NYT)

Opinion: Rent Control policy would be “merely terrible” for communities

Economists largely agree: Rent Control does not work. While there may be some gains for low-income residents, they are greatly outweighed by the fact that Rent Control does not result in more housing being created. That undercuts the soundness of the policy, and unless a policy is enacted which allows for more building, the problem won’t get better, columnist Megan McArdle  (Chicago Tribune)