Late last week RealtyTrac released their August Foreclosure Market Report and, while activity picked up for the nation as a whole, Chicago foreclosure activity actually declined yet again. This after I stated last month that it appeared that we had really bottomed out and there wasn’t much more room for improvement. Now I’m not sure what to think.
Take a look at the long term graph below and you will see that the foreclosure activity is still steadily creeping downward and hit a new low in August. Along with that trend the volatility of these numbers has also declined. Not sure what to make of that either.
You will also note that the most prominent feature of that graph is the decline in defaults. In other words the front end of the pipeline is seeing the most dramatic decline, which is good news. That could be a result of an improvement in the economy or it could just be that people are less likely to go into default when they have more to lose as a result of an improving housing market.
Nevertheless, according to the RealtyTrac report, Chicago has the fifth highest foreclosure rate among the 20 largest metro areas with one out of every 662 homes having a foreclosure filing.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
This steady decline in foreclosure activity is having the expected impact on the overall inventory of properties in foreclosure as you can see in the graph below, though the rate of decline is slowing a bit. A little more than a year and a half ago, when I started tracking this number, the shadow inventory was declining at a rate of about 1000 units per month. Now it’s declining at a rate of about 600 – 700.
If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market, get an insider’s view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry, or you just think I’m the next Kurt Vonnegut you can Subscribe to Getting Real by Email:
Please be sure to verify your email address when you receive the verification notice.