The data that came out of last week’s RealtyTrac July Foreclosure Market Report did show Chicago’s foreclosure activity creeping down towards record lows – at least near a record since I’ve been tracking the data seen in the graph below. Only January of this year was lower.
Once again Chicago foreclosure activity was lower than a year ago – by 36% – which it has been for 44 out of the past 45 months. However, as you can see in the graph the decline has really flattened out.
But low activity numbers are not necessarily a good thing as I’ll discuss below. Until auctions and bank repossessions occur the process is not complete and the foreclosure zombies remain. So it wouldn’t be a bad thing if these numbers picked up. It’s the defaults that we unequivocally want to see in a steady state of decline.
At the national level foreclosure starts hit a record low going back more than 11 years to May 2005 and the year over year change remains down as it has for most of the last 6 years.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
The most disheartening part of the Chicago foreclosure story is that the total number of homes that are in some state of default has been virtually flat since at least December as you can see in the graph below. As I mentioned above, we are apparently going to need to see a higher level of auctions and bank repossessions in order to make progress on this number.
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.