Sometimes an image makes you stop in your tracks. In the midst of working with some parcel-level data for a report, our Research and Data Analyst saw one of the starker examples of the difference a simple municipal border can make. On the left side of the image above is the Village of Oak Park, a suburb of the City of Chicago that abuts its western border, on the right is the Chicago Community Area of Austin. The blue-colored parcels on both sides represent residential mortgages originated between the third quarter of 2012 and the first quarter of 2013. The border between the two is Austin Boulevard, and the difference in mortgage activity on either side of it is striking.
In our last blog post we covered why mortgage activity is an important indicator of local housing market health and how you can download this aggregated data set, compare this activity in different Cook County geographies and look at the variation in mortgage activity by property type within those geographies.