DePaul Institute for Housing Studies

Property Sales Data

Why is property sales data important?

Property sales data provide valuable information on the characteristics of neighborhood real estate markets, such as how active local residential property markets are, what types of properties are being purchased, how they are being acquired, who is buying them, and how much buyers are paying for properties.

Parcel-level data on property sales in the IHS Data Clearinghouse has been used by the Institute to:

Aggregated data are available on the IHS Data Portal for metro area counties, metro areas municipalities, Cook County subregions, Cook County municipalities, and City of Chicago wards and community areas.  For Cook County subregions and municipalities and City of Chicago community areas and wards, data are also available across property types. Data are available from 2005, allowing for analysis of trends in this indicator to be examined over time.

Subtypes available on the IHS Data Portal

  • Total Sales Activity. Total property sales activity in a given year are available for all residential properties. In Cook County, acyivity is broken out separately for total sales activity in single family homes, condominium units, two-to-four unit buildings, and in buildings with five or more units.
  • Sales per 100 Residential Parcels. Per parcel sales activity allows for comparison of yearly sales activity across geographies.
  • Share of Sales Purchased with Cash*. Property sales activity is combined with mortgage activity to determine whether or not a property sale was a cash purchase or financed with a mortgage. The share of sales purchased with cash in a given year are available for all residential properties. In Cook County, transactions are broken out separately for total sales activity in single family homes, condominium units, two-to-four unit buildings, and in buildings with five or more units. *This data point excludes property sales that were part of bulk transactions. For more on methodology, see Cash or Credit: The Role of Cash Buyers in Cook County’s Housing Market.
  • Share of Sales that were Distressed*. Property sales activity is combined with foreclosure filings and completed foreclosure auctions activity to determine whether or not the property sale was a distressed purchase. The share of sales that were distressed in a given year are available for all residential properties. In Cook County, transactions are broken out separately for total sales activity in single family homes, condominium units, two-to-four unit buildings, and in buildings with five or more units. *This data point excludes property sales that were part of bulk transactions. For more on methodology, see Cash or Credit: The Role of Cash Buyers in Cook County’s Housing Market.
  • Share of Sales, Business Buyers. The share of residential property sales that were purchased by self-identified businesses in a given year are available for all residential properties. In Cook County, transactions are broken out separately for total sales activity in single family homes, condominium units, two-to-four unit buildings, and in buildings with five or more units.
  • Share of Sales, Extremely Low Value. The share of residential property sales that were purchased for less than $20,000 in a given year are available for all residential properties. In Cook County, transactions are broken out separately for total sales activity in single family homes, condominium units, two-to-four unit buildings, and in buildings with five or more units.

About the Data

Data on sales activity is collected from the county recorder of deeds offices via Property Insight. The underlying data include information on the executed and recorded date of the sales transaction, the buyer and the seller, and the sales amount. IHS considers all sales transactions with a recorded sales price and where the new owner has a significantly different name than the previous owner. 

Data on the share of sales that were purchased in cash and the share of sales that were distressed brings non-bulk property sales data together with mortgage recordings data (Property Insight), foreclosure filings data (Property Insight and Record Information Services), and reference sales data from the Multiple Listing Service via Midwest Real Estate Data. IHS then connects these data to information on the subject property using data from the county assessor offices.