April was one the busiest months Cook County has seen in
Foreclosure activity since August of 2010.
A whopping 3000
residential units came through the auctions just last month. When compared to the 1500 in March and the
1800 from a year ago, that tells us one thing.
There is STILL a lot inventory out there.
Of course not all properties scheduled to go to a
foreclosure auction actually make it all the way the through, but this surge of
activity is movement in the right direction to stabilize Chicago’s real estate
"For Illinois as a whole, we've now
seen seven straight months where (foreclosure starts) are down from a year ago.
That's a good sign. There's fewer properties being added,” said
Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president.
The foreclosure process reached a high of
30 months from the start to the auction date last month. That’s a two and a half year process.
Judicial Sales is only one of four corporations
that handles foreclosures in Cook County and currently handling the larger
portion of residential foreclosures.
Just last Thursday, only 50 properties came up for auction, while 75
cases that were originally scheduled for that day, were either cancelled,
rescheduled, or sold prior to the auction.
Peter Birnbaum, president and CEO of
Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund Inc., also the parent company of Judicial Sales,
said, "We're still really busy. The
backlog, between the robo-signing and the settlement and all the lenders
calling a time out, that created a backlog of old cases."
On average, only 6 out every 50
residential units that come to auction are bought by an investor that out bids
the lender. The remaining units are
bought back by the lender as a bank owned property, also known as an REO, and typically
placed into a package of properties to be sold in bulk.
If you aren’t shocked yet by these
numbers, here are a few more stats.
Chicago ranks #4 out of the top 10 markets in the country for
foreclosure activity. That’s not all;
approximately 35% of all current Illinois homeowners are more than 25%
underwater. These are just foreclosures
awaiting the inevitable. Realistically,
only a small percentage of these underwater homeowners will avoid foreclosure
though a short sale or loan modification.
areas of the real estate market have shown signs of recovery, the interest in
bidding at foreclosure auctions has jumped substantially. The auctions
are becoming a standing-room only event where bidding is very active and
fierce, compared to even 6 months ago," said Benjamin De Los Monteros of Cherry Picker Investments, an auction buyer firm.
To sum that all up, foreclosures aren’t
going anywhere quickly. Chicago still
has a lot of inventory to get through.