After all the negative data I've been presenting lately regarding all the distressed or underwater homes in Chicago we have come to find out that foreclosure activity is actually on the decline. RealtyTrac actually released their numbers for January yesterday and it shows a continued decline in foreclosure activity in Chicago as shown in the chart below. BTW, the chart is on a 13 month scale so that you can see the relationship between this January and the previous January.
Unfortunately, RealtyTrac is saying that the decline in foreclosure activity that we are seeing is not an indication of a real improvement but rather a reflection of lowered activity in the aftermath of the foreclosure filing mess. Foreclosure activity was put on hold or slowed down while banks reviewed their internal processes. In other words, a lot of that shadow inventory is still going to turn into foreclosures eventually.