CHICAGO FORECLOSURES FALL - But Housing Recovery Here Not Complete!

Real Estate Agent with Dean's Team - Keller Williams Realty Partners Chicago IL


In what many experts consider a clear signal that the Housing Market in Chicago may be making a comeback, Bank-Owned Foreclosed Homes, as a percentage of all homes on the resale market here, fell by 27% in 2013, versus 2012.  At the end of last year, 1 out of 5 homes for sale in Chicago were Bank Owned, versus a 28% share one year earlier, at the end of 2012.


As written in Mary Ellen Podmolik's story in the Chicago Tribune, the impact of one or more Foreclosed Homes on a residential block is often far reaching.   Besides being unsightly, and a possible draw for squatters, and crime, these distressed properties might drive down the Market Value of other homes nearby.  Banks often sell Real Estate they own at a deep discount - good news for investors, but often devastating to the potential equity neighbors may realize when they sell their own homes.


Most Chicago Neighborhoods are not out of the woods yet!   Foreclosure levels are still considerably higher than they were before values started plummeting during the Housing Crisis which had its beginnings in late 2006.  However, some Neighborhoods in Chicago saw the percentage of Bank-Owned Homes fall considerably in 2013.  In Logan Square, on the Northwest Side of Chicago, about 4 miles from Downtown and the Chicago Loop, the number of foreclosures fell 57% last year.   On the Near North Side, which includes the Gold Coast and Old Town Neighborhoods of Chicago, foreclosures dropped 61%. 


In the Humboldt Park Neighborhood, just south of Logan Square, foreclosure activity fell 36% in 2013.  However, in the more modestly priced South Side Chicago Neighborhoods  of Auburn-Gresham, and Pullman, the decline was only 16% between 2012 and 2013.


Many experts feel tempering the market improvement may be the hundreds of Chicago Homes where the owners are still underwater in their mortgages, as well as the continued stubbornly-high employment rate in IL.  Also, over 1 million long-term unemployed nationally lost their extended benefits recently.


Despite the fact that newly-filed foreclosures are decreasing in number, the number of foreclosure cases reaching conclusion, and eventual Sheriff Sale, is surging - up 60% during December of 2013.  IL is a Judicial Foreclosure State, and the foreclosure process here takes considerably longer to complete - with new rules to protect in-distress homeowners, 815 days from start to finish is average.  Nationally, the average time to complete a foreclosure was 564 days at the end of last year.


Much encouraging news here - but, still, some distance to go for a more-complete Housing Market Recovery in and around Chicago.

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