It sure seems like every time I declare a bottom in Chicago foreclosure activity RealtyTrac comes out with even lower numbers to prove me wrong. I have updated my graph below using the January data that they released today and overall activity has hit a new record low. You can sort of tell that the drop is being driven across the board in all 3 stages of the foreclosure process…which is not necessarily good because, while you want to see defaults declining, you don’t really want to see bank repossessions or auctions declining at this stage because those are the actions that actually resolve the foreclosure and put a financially stable family back in the house.
While RealtyTrac released the January foreclosure data, there won’t actually be a foreclosure market report either this month or next since they have many other datasets that they will be releasing reports on instead. So I don’t have their insights or quotes to share with you for the time being.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
The total number of Chicago foreclosures that are working their way through the system is the number we really want to keep an eye on since it represents an overhang of inventory that could hit the market at distressed prices and these properties often contribute to neighborhood blight. Unfortunately the number is still pretty high at over 13,000 homes and it’s no longer declining at the rate that it was 2 years ago. However, at just over 400 homes the January decline was actually the biggest decline in the last 4 months.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area’s full service discount real estate brokerage. 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 he’s the next Kurt Vonnegut 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.