Thursday, March 8, 2018

Chicago Foreclosures Reach Record Low

Are you still seeing foreclosures in your neighborhood in Chicagoland? If the answer is yes, the statistics suggest that you may not be seeing many foreclosures for much longer. According to a recent article in Chicago Now, Chicago foreclosure rates have dropped to their lowest since RealtyTrac has been collecting data on foreclosures in the area, and that number likely will only get lower. What do we know about general foreclosure trends in the Chicago area as of early 2018?
Foreclosure Rates Have Dropped in Chicagoland by Approximately 75%
The article in Chicago Now cites data from Attom Data Solutions, which is the parent of RealtyTrac. According to that data, “the number of Chicago homes in the foreclosure process fell below 9000 for the first time since [the company began] tracking the data—8,983 homes to be exact.” While that number might sound high to you, it is all relative. When RealtyTrac began tracking foreclosure rates in Chicagoland, the number was above 37,000. Since 2013, the total number of foreclosures in the area has been on the decline, and experts anticipate that the trend will continue.
In addition to the total number of homes in foreclosure, RealtyTrac also reports that “Chicago’s foreclosure activity also has been showing regular declines, with all three components approaching recent lows.” What does that mean? The three components include foreclosure auctions, bank repossessions, and mortgage defaults. The most important of these to watch, according to the article, is the total number of defaults. In order to keep the foreclosure rate on a decline in the Chicago area, it is extremely important to avoid new defaults. Based on the numbers from January 2018, the rate of defaults is down more than 25% from the previous year.
Seller’s Market Also Helps Foreclosure Rates
The total rate of foreclosure nationwide has also been on a decline, with defaults showing a 10% drop from January 2017 and a decline by more than 17% in the total number of repossessions from this time a year ago. Overall, foreclosure auctions across the country are down by more than 20%. According to an article in World Property Journal, one of the reason that foreclosure rates are down and neighborhoods are being repopulated—rather than having many empty homes due to foreclosure—is that it is currently a seller’s market. In other words, desirable homes are in short supply, which means homes that get listed for sale tend to sell for higher prices and quickly.
The housing inventory is in such short supply, the article suggests, that even homes in “the top environmental hazard risk quintile” are selling at higher rates than they have in years. As Daren Blomquist, the senior vice president for ATTOM Data Solutions explained, as a result of current trends in the real estate market, “even homes in higher-risk zip codes for environmental hazards are in high demand from buyers looking for lower-priced properties and investors looking for the next up-and-coming neighborhood.” The rate of foreclosures in environmental risk areas is also lower, by and large, than the foreclosure rate generally across the country.
All this is to say that homes are selling and foreclosure rates are declining, even in areas that some of us might assume would not be as desirable. It is important to keep foreclosure rates low. If you have questions about avoiding foreclosure, an experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense attorney can help. Contact the Emerson Law Firm to learn more.
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