Once a month I do a quick review of Chicago's foreclosure activity and the overall trend has been very encouraging, with roughly 1/4 - 1/3 of the homes in foreclosure compared to the peak of the housing crisis. However, I recently started paying closer attention to what was going on at a more granular level - by community area and by block - and was surprised at how much activity I was seeing throughout the city. So I decided to pull a large sample size and figure out just how big the problem is and where it was still occurring.
I pulled all the Chicago pre-foreclosures, which is when the bank formally files a Lis Pendens or a notice of lawsuit regarding a mortgage default. It's the very beginning of the foreclosure process and it doesn't always lead to a full blown foreclosure because the homeowner can always decide to catch up on their mortgage payments.
For the last 3 months I came up with close to 2300 properties, including various commercial buildings as well, and plotted them on the map below. It's an interactive map like others that I have posted. You can click on the balloons for more information on the property, zoom in and out, pan, and blow it up to full screen.
2300 is a bit of a surprisingly high number compared to what I've been pulling from RealtyTrac - like more than twice as high. I can't explain the discrepancy but I do have greater confidence in this data since I can see the individual data points and see that the Cook County Recorder of Deed's office has these notices on file.
When you zoom in on the data you definitely see the high density of new foreclosure filings on the south and west sides, as you'd expect, and a much lower concentration in the higher income areas. The one surprise is a big cluster along the eastern edge of the Near North Side. But that could be because of the higher density of housing there (though other higher income, higher density areas don't have those clusters). Some of the areas with a surprisingly low concentration of activity include Hyde Park, Oakland, Douglas, Armour Square, Bridgeport, McKinley Park, the Lower West Side, the Near West Side, and Uptown.
But I was surprised at just how much foreclosure activity there still is throughout the entire city. It looks like the problem is far from behind us at this point.
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.