Overview of the Residential and Commercial
Real Estate Market in Illinois


The world's first skyscraper was built in Chicago, Illinois in 1893. Today, seven of the top 20 tallest buildings in North America are located in Chicago. Fans of Superman are more likely to be interested in the small city of Metropolis that hosts the annual Superman Celebration and draws thousands of comic book collectors from all across the United States. The world's largest public library is the Chicago Public Library and it houses a collection of more than 2 million books. Chicago is by far the largest city in the state while Illinois has a population of 12,882,135 and more than 2,718,782 of those people live in Chicago, according to the U.S. Census. The city has a poverty rate of more than 22 percent. The median home value is $247,800 and the median household income for Chicago is $47,408. That is almost $10,000 less than the median household income for the state of Illinois. The median home value across the state is $190,800. In Chicago, 70 percent of residents live in multi-unit structures. Approximately 32.9 percent of people live in apartments or condominiums across the state of Illinois. Chicago has 11,841 people per square mile. There are 231 people per square mile across the state.

Much of the commercial activity for Illinois is in the greater Chicago area. With more than 9.5 million people, "Chicagoland" is the third-largest metropolitan area in the United States. It also has the third largest gross product of any metropolitan area at $532 billion. Chicago is considered one of the most important business centers in the world and has the second largest business district in the country. The economy is diverse and space is limited in the city and surrounding area, with demand for affordable apartments always high. The population density makes Chicago a desirable area for retail locations. Demand for office space is soft in the city and Chicago ranked 14th in the top 75 U.S. markets for commercial investment appeal, according to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate report by the Urban Land Institute.

Office Rental and Executive Suites in Chicago, IL

How to Become a Realtor in Illinois

Operating under the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), The Illinois Bureau of Real Estate Professionals is in charge of licensing and overseeing the more than 90,000 real estate agents for the state. It is headquartered in Springfield and has a satellite office operating in Chicago. The real estate bureau requires applicants be at least 21 years old and have a high school diploma or GED. They will allow people as young as 18 to apply under some circumstances. Applicants must successfully complete 45 hours of pre-license classes on real estate transactions. Attorneys can apply for a real estate license without the pre-license classes, if they are approved to practice by the Illinois Supreme Court.