A couple of weeks ago ATTOM Data Solutions released their May 2020 US Foreclosure Market Report and updated the RealtyTrac data. Once again it reflects the outsized impact of the government's mandated moratorium on foreclosures during the Covid-19 pandemic. At this point the data is almost meaningless because it's artificially depressed. Looking at the graph below you can see (Well, you really can't see. You just need to take my word for it.) that we hit an all time low along all three components of foreclosure activity.
As Ohan Antebian, General Manager of RealtyTrac, said:
The foreclosures industry in the United States remains on hold right now, mainly because of the moratorium imposed by Congress on lenders pursuing delinquent homeowners who have federally backed mortgages. The temporary ban, in place until June 30, has helped drive down the number of foreclosure cases to historically low levels and forced lenders to sit tight. When it’s lifted, lenders will be able to decide how fast to pursue these cases, which will have a ripple on all the ancillary activity connected to foreclosures. That will likely mean a surge of work for real estate lawyers, process servers, courts and others. But for now, the industry is running in place.
Mortgage delinquencies continued to surge in May but this is not reflected in the foreclosure data because of the moratorium. On the other hand, we appear to be turning the corner because the number of properties in forbearance appears to be declining in the last few weeks.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
Despite the decline in foreclosure activity, somehow, the number of homes in foreclosure continues to decline. And the decline is somewhat greater than what can be explained by activity in the final stages of the process. I can't explain that so I'll just chalk it up to some kind of data lag or other anomaly.
Gary Lucido is the President of Lucid Realty, the Chicago area's full service real estate brokerage that offers home buyer rebates and discount commissions. If you want to keep up to date on the Chicago real estate market or get an insider's view of the seamy underbelly of the real estate industry 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.