ATTOM Data Solutions updated their RealtyTrac data earlier this month so I went ahead and updated my Chicago foreclosure activity charts below. They subsequently issued their February Foreclosure Market Report which I incorporated after my original post date. I’ve been informed that the January numbers previously reported had a problem with bank repossessions which were overstated. In reality neither total foreclosure activity nor bank repossessions hit a 15 month high in January. After posting this I was provided the correct data and the graph below will be fixed going forward.
Total February foreclosure activity in Chicago was 6.4% below last February. Auctions actually hit a new low since I’ve been tracking the data.
At the national level ATTOM Data Solutions reported that February had the lowest number of foreclosure filings since they started tracking the data in April 2005. However, Chicago topped the list of major metro areas with the most bank repossessions and it also had the second highest rate of foreclosures.
Keep in mind that, going forward, this data is going to get all weird on us because some banks, HUD, Fannie, and Freddie are all halting foreclosures during the Coronavirus crisis. So I don’t know what this data is going to look like in a couple of months. In fact, in their commentary Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, said:
However, as with just about anything connected to the housing market right now, the foreclosure situation is now totally in flux because of the ever-evolving coronavirus pandemic. Many lenders have suspended foreclosure proceedings, so the numbers will most likely continue to drop in the coming months. But after that, we may see an uptick in foreclosures as a result of dramatic economic impacts, such as more homeowners losing their jobs and falling behind on mortgage payments.”
Chicago Shadow Inventory
In terms of the backlog of Chicago homes that are in some stage of the foreclosure process we may have hit another one of those plateaus after the nice drop in January. The February numbers actually rose slightly – by 21 units – from January. You can get a pretty good sense of the pattern from the graph below. At least we remain below 5000 units for the time being.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market or get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email using the form below. Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.