The latest Foreclosure Market Report for October from ATTOM Data Solutions showed a 20% increase in US foreclosure activity from September. However, that number is still 79% below last year’s level because foreclosure activity continues to be severely depressed by the government imposed moratorium on foreclosures to mitigate the problems caused by Covid-19. Rick Sharga, executive vice president of RealtyTrac which is an ATTOM Data Solutions company, provided a possible explanation as to how foreclosures could be increasing despite the moratorium:
It’s a little surprising to see foreclosure activity increasing in spite of the various foreclosure moratoria that are in place. It’s likely that many of these properties were already in the early stages of default prior to the pandemic, or are vacant and abandoned, which makes them candidates for expedited foreclosure actions…It’s probably not a surprise that almost all of the metro areas where foreclosure activity increased on a month-over-month basis are also places where unemployment rates are higher than the national average, and in many cases have been hotspots of COVID-19 infections.
On the other hand, Chicago did not experience an increase in foreclosures. In fact, Chicago foreclosure activity actually declined slightly in the last month. Check out the graph below, which I constructed from data found on ATTOM’s RealtyTrac Web site, to see how the moratorium has affected foreclosure activity here.
Of course, once the moratorium is over we fully expect foreclosures to surge. According to Black Knight’s September mortgage data delinquencies are still extremely high, though they continue to come down ever so slowly from the peak. More than 2.3 million homeowners are 90 or more days past due and that’s 5 times the number at the beginning of the year. The good news though is that “the number of seriously delinquent mortgages (90+ days) fell by 43,000 in September, marking the first such improvement in serious delinquencies since the start of the pandemic.”
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.