Housing sales in Illinois continue to lag below the national average as the state's rising property taxes have all but crippled the market.
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) reports that despite meager gains of 0.3 percent in July, overall home sales across the state have remained weak, including an 11-percent dip in the month of June compared to the same period in 2018.
“In theory, falling building permits, lower housing inventory and declining borrowing costs should all lead to higher growth in home prices,” IPI said in an article. “But sky-high property tax bills have all but ensured that demand for Illinois homes, and therefore housing prices, remains weak as buyers realize that even if they can afford a home, massive property tax costs and low expected appreciation make owning a home in Illinois a losing proposition.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
The situation has sent many prospective homeowners across state lines in search of more affordable homes in Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin and other neighboring states. Some of those that remain are hopeful that Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s newly created property tax relief task force can find a solution, but IPI seems convinced that any chance of relief is contingent upon state government taking certain steps.
“Without addressing Illinois’ fastest-growing line item – pension costs for government workers – property taxes will continue to rise,” the article said. “As Illinois homeowners get fewer and fewer services and poor returns on their greatest investment, they will continue to vote with their feet by moving elsewhere.”