I've been reporting in my monthly Chicago real estate market updates how the distressed percentage of home sales has been dropping steadily now for 7 years. You may have also heard recently that that percentage has now dropped to pre-mortgage crisis levels, indicating that the foreclosure nightmare is pretty much behind us. Well, that conclusion is also supported by looking at the Chicago foreclosure activity data regularly provided by RealtyTrac/ Attom Data Solutions, the latest update of which was posted last week. I updated my graph below and you can see that foreclosure activity definitely appears to have flattened out in the last few months.
The data is highly volatile so I tend to look at year over year changes. While activity was down 3.4% in May from last year it was also the smallest decline in 14 months.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
Another measure of how much progress we are making in dealing with the foreclosure problem is to look at the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process - also known as the shadow inventory since these homes can come out of the shadows at any time and hit the market. I've been tracking that phenomenon in the graph below. Although we have been steadily working our way through that backlog it did actually tick up slightly in May - by 185 units - after dropping dramatically in April by 1218 units.
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.