It all depends upon what data you look at and the media is great at
picking the most dramatic data to write about. RealtyTrac just released
their July numbers on foreclosures in Chicago – but there are two
different statistics. First, there is foreclosure activity, which is
defined as some kind of foreclosure filing being received on a property.
However, it’s not clear to me if they count each filing that a property
receives, because there can be more than one. These numbers show an
increase in filings since last year – up 21% over July of last year.
there was a moratorium on foreclosures last year and that could have
skewed the numbers. In addition, as you can see from the data above
there is a lot of volatility in the numbers from one month to the next
and the July change appears to be within the normal range of volatility.
other set of numbers released – and I think these are much more
relevant – is the percentage of Chicago home sales that are
you can see from the chart above the percentage for July (just under
13%) is the lowest it’s been in the last year. Now, it could easily be
that foreclosures aren’t moving through the pipeline very fast but,
nevertheless, they must not be having that big of an impact on the
Chicago real estate market right now.