ATTOM Data Solutions released their October Foreclosure Market report this morning and also updated their local data on the RealtyTrac Web site. Their local data shows that Chicago foreclosure activity hit its highest level in 12 months. However, there are several important caveats to that. First, October exceeded May by only a couple of units. Second, foreclosure activity was still down from last October, although last October had a really weird spike in activity. Third, the tail end of the foreclosure process was at pretty high levels, which means these problems are being resolved. Bank repossessions hit an 11 month high while auctions hit a 17 month high.
See the graph below for the historic breakdown of the 3 components of foreclosure activity.
At the national level October foreclosure activity was down 17% from last October but up 13% from September’s numbers. Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, pointed out that “The latest number is still below where it was a year ago and less than 15 percent of what it was during the depths of the Great Recession.” The graph below gives you some perspective on what has happened historically. We are currently close to the lowest levels during the time period shown.
Oh…and Illinois had the second highest foreclosure rate in the nation during October – right behind New Jersey.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
Chicago homes in the foreclosure process pipeline are also known as the shadow inventory because they are lurking in the shadows just waiting to hit the market at some point. Tracking the number of those properties is actually a better indicator of the magnitude of the foreclosure problem than mere activity because it tells you how much work has to be done still, whereas the total activity is a bit of a mixed bag. Total activity includes new defaults that may never result in a completed foreclosure and it also includes properties being acquired by banks, thus ending the foreclosure process.
The graph below tracks the shadow inventory and, despite some occasional irregularities the trend is very encouraging.
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.