Updated local foreclosure data from ATTOM Data Solutions posted yesterday showed a surprising spike in Chicago’s foreclosure activity for January, hitting a 15 month high. As you can see in the graph below the trend has been fairly consistently down for the last few years but January actually came in almost 21% higher than a year ago and that’s the largest percentage increase in 3 years.
In their US foreclosure press release ATTOM Data Solutions did give the Chicago metro area special mention for having a 14% increase in foreclosure starts from last year. However, I came up with a 19.9% increase for the city. But that wasn’t even the biggest driver of the overall increase in activity. In reality that was bank repossessions which hit a 15 month high. At least those represent the final stage of the foreclosure process so they do provide some closure in contrast to those foreclosure starts.
The Chicago metro area also got special mention for having the highest foreclosure rate in the country – We’re #1! – and then Illinois got honored for having the third highest state foreclosure rate.
Chicago Shadow Inventory
Finally we saw a decrease in the total number of homes that are in the foreclosure process. After plateauing for 4 months it dropped in January by 431 units, crossing below the 5000 unit mark for the first time since I’ve been tracking the data. When you look at the graph below you’ll see that there is this recurring pattern of plateaus followed by large drops. This data also seems to be a bit out of synch with the foreclosure activity data that I report above. It seems to drop or stagnate regardless of how much late-stage activity occurs. It’s almost as if there is a data problem. Nahhhh.
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.