Fewer Chicago Foreclosures, but Illinois Real Estate Still Suffering

Fewer Chicago Foreclosures, but Illinois Real Estate Still Suffering

Foreclosures in the Chicago area continue to decline, according to newly released real estate research that indicates foreclosure filings in the first half of 2014 decreased nearly 40 percent from the same time one year ago.

The data from The Woodstock Institute, a suburban financial nonprofit research and policy organization, shows foreclosure filings — the first step in the foreclosure process — went down 37.7 percent year over year in the six-county Chicago region.

Final foreclosure auctions in the area also declined by 16.7 percent.

Improving Chicago real estate market

According to the Woodstock report, DuPage County was the sub-region around Chicago that saw the biggest drop in foreclosure filings year over year, with a 48.2 percent decrease.

North suburban Niles was the community with the biggest decline, 61.9 percent. 

As for foreclosure auctions, DuPage County led the way with a 28 percent drop. The village of Skokie saw the biggest auction decline at 43.9 percent.

The city of Chicago saw filings and foreclosure auctions decline 34.4 percent and 20.6 percent respectively.

Foreclosures still high in Illinois

Even with its biggest city showing signs of an improving real estate market, the state still has more distressed properties than most. 

One in every 747 homes in Illinois is in some state of foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac, a company that compiles foreclosure data. That places Illinois' foreclosure rate fourth in the nation in July. Only Florida, Maryland and Nevada had a higher foreclosure rates in July. The national average was 1 foreclosure out of 1,203 homes.

Real estate agent Naomi Campbell is a foreclosure specialist with highly rated Coldwell Banker in Evanston, Illinois. Foreclosure sales around Chicago today make up a much smaller portion of home sales than at the market’s low-point, around 2010, Campbell says. 

“They are still out there, but the banks are doing a lot better at managing their portfolios,” she says. “Instead of the homes just sitting there in disrepair, the banks and credit unions are actually fixing them up and trying to move them.”

RELATED: A healthier housing market by the numbers

Neighborhood property values aren’t feeling the effects of foreclosures quite as much either. 

“They’re not killing the market anymore,” Campbell says. “In some towns in the area where property values haven’t bounced back quite yet, they may be seeing some of that. But in wealthier suburbs, prices have pretty much rebounded.”

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Chicago home sales were off 15.3 percent in August compared to the same month in 2013.  (Photo by Steven Jack)
Chicago home sales were off 15.3 percent in August compared to the same month in 2013. (Photo by Steven Jack)

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