Residential foreclosure activity in the Chicago area fell sharply during July compared with the previous month, and the decline was even more pronounced when compared with a year ago. New foreclosures filed in the seven-county area dropped to 4,696 in July, down 18.59 percent from 5,768 reported in June and 37.49 percent from 7,512 in July 2010. The Chicagoland area includes Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will and Kendall counties.
The figures represent a continuation of the general downward trend since the beginning of the year.
In Cook County, new foreclosures declined 21.03 percent to 2,828 in July compared with 3,581 in June and dropped 41.91 percent from 4,868 in July of last year. Will County had the largest percentage drop from June — 23.49 percent to 417 from 545 — and new default notices compared with a year ago were down 33.7 percent from 629.
Here's how the other Chicagoland counties fared in new foreclosure filings, with July-June 2011 comparisons followed by year-over-year comparisons:
- DuPage — 394 from 485, down 18.76 percent; down 22.9 percent from 511 in July 2010
- Lake — 446, same as June; down 24.79 percent from 593 in July 2010
- McHenry — 197 from 224, down 12.05 percent; down 37.66 percent from 316 in July 2010
- Kane — 319 from 370, down 13.78 percent; down 33.12 percent from 477 in July 2010
- Kendall — 95 from 117, down 18.8 percent; down 19.49 percent from 118 in July 2010
While the number of new foreclosures fell in July compared with June, new REO (real estate owned) properties — homes that did not sell and reverted to bank ownership — showed an overall 9.31 percent increase, to 1,444 in July from 1,321 in June. Cook County led the way with a 17.21 percent increase to 944 from 806.
REOs in many cases present excellent investment opportunities because banks are eager to clear these non-performing assets from their balance sheets. Even though banks frequently spend substantial amounts to repair and/or remodel these properties, they are still available at attractive discounts to market value. Other REOs that have been neglected are also good candidates for investment by buyers willing to do their own rehab work.
Here are figures for new REO properties, by counties other than Cook, for July compared with June, followed by the percentage change:
- DuPage — 123 from 116; up 6.03 percent
- Lake — 112 from 103; up 8.74 percent
- McHenry — 69 from 72; down 4.17 percent
- Kane — 90 from 92; down 2.17 percent
- Will — 80 from 112; down 28.57 percent
- Kendall — 26 from 20; up 30 percent
Although new REO properties showed an increase, the number of homes sold to investors remained at about the same level as in June. In fact, the number of investor sales has continued at about the same pace all year, with the units sold in the seven-county area ranging from about 100 to 120 each month. A total of 118 units were sold to investors in July, a modest 4.42 increase over the 113 sold in June.
Here are county-by-county investor sales figures for July compared with June:
- Cook — 63 from 62
- DuPage — 22 from 16
- Lake — 6 from 9
- McHenry — 5 from 1
- Kane — 9 from 11
- Will — 12 from 11
- Kendall— 1 from 3
Foreclosure activity in the Chicagoland area was a key contributor to the statewide decrease in total new foreclosures, REOs and sales. A report issued earlier this month indicated foreclosure activity in Illinois decreased 3.5 percent from June, to 10,627 filings, and fell nearly 46 percent from a year ago.