Cook County Assessor: "We stand by our assessments"
The Cook County Assessor says its home values are accurate and it stands by them.
That's in response to Chicago City Wire report on falling home values and rising property taxes on the south side of Chicago, published Friday. It reported that the Cook County Assessor overvalued the last ten homes sold in the West Pullman neighborhood by an average of 75 percent.
"We agree that property values have declined or remained stagnant in certain areas of Cook County. However, we strongly stand behind the accuracy, fairness and equity of our assessments," said Tom Shaer, spokesman for Cook County Assessor Joe Berrios.
Shaer said the assessor's office also takes issue with the way LGIS calculates median home values, which it claims is contrary to state law.
"State law describes at length home sales as those which do not include foreclosures, in-family sales, and other unusual circumstances," Shaer said. "We value homes based on sales prices in normal, at-length real estate transactions as defined by state law. This article did not use that system and we therefore emphatically state that the figures are not accurate."
LGIS stands by its figures, which are intended to explain the market as it actually exists, versus what government dictates it should be.
Foreclosures, or homes taken back by a lender after the homeowner fails to make required payments, represent a significant part of the Chicago real estate market in poorer communities. When lenders sell these homes, they do so at market values that are "normal, at-length real estate transactions."