Foreclosure Sales in Chicagoland Increased with Almost 22% in May 2012

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According to, the number of foreclosed homes sold at public auctions in May 2012 has significantly increased compared to the previous month (21.75%), and May of the previous year (167.66%). Furthermore, the number of REOs has increased almost 17% from April to May, and has more than doubled since this time last year.

According to data gathered by the Illinois Foreclosure Listing Service, the number of foreclosed homes sold to investors drastically increased in May 2012 compared to April and compared to May of 2011. With the foreclosure filing increase in May, this data reflects how mortgage servicers have been increasing efforts in 2012 to address mortgages that have been unpaid. Banks are increasingly opting to short sale the homes and take a bit off a loss versus completing the foreclosure process and actually taking the properties back. Because many substantial opportunities for investors and homebuyers exist throughout Illinois, most of these new foreclosures are likely to result in auction sales or short sales rather than just becoming bank repossessions.

Nationally, short sales have increased over 25% since last year and are the highest they've been in three years. For the time being, the rush of investors searching for real estate steals will go on weighing down the prices of residential homes. Although the sale of a foreclosure can generally bring down the value of homes in the neighborhood, the sale of a short sale home does not pose as big of a risk. Typically, short sales sell for less of a discount than homes owned by the bank.

From April to May, the number of homes sold to investors jumped most significantly for the three counties of Will, Lake, and Kane from April to May. Kane went from 11 foreclosures in April and nearly doubled to 21 in May. Lake County went from 18 foreclosures in April and more than doubled to 38 in May. Will had the largest increase from 20 foreclosed properties in April and jumped to 52 in May, a 61.5% increase.

In the past year, May 2011-May 2012, the number of foreclosed homes sold to investors is significantly higher in May 2012 than it previously was in May 2011. In May 2011, 113 foreclosed properties throughout the seven Chicagoland counties were sold to investors. In April 2012, however, this number more than doubled reaching 222. Sooner or later, as the quantity of vacant foreclosed properties lessens, home prices will become stabilized and eventually begin rising once again.

From April to May, the number of REOs has increased almost 17% throughout the seven Chicagoland counties going from 2,348 to 2,820, respectively. The difference from May 2011 to May 2012 is quite staggering going from 1,056 up now to 2,820. The number of REOs has more than doubled in the past year.

Many homes that are not sold to investors remain vacant. The number of these types of homes in Cook County is particularly high: 1,715 REOs in May 2012 alone. Efforts are being made by Cook County Commissioner to alleviate the problems associated with vacant properties. She proposed creating a "land bank" in which the county will seize and manage the properties until proper productive use of the properties can be determined. It remains unknown at this point whether this idea will be accepted and put into practice as well as how it will function and how it will be funded.


The Illinois Foreclosure Listing Service ( is a Chicago-based subscription service that provides up-to-date data on foreclosure filings and related activities throughout the Chicago area, including Cook, DuPage, Lake, Will, McHenry, Kane and Kendall Counties. ILFLS recorders are assigned to every courthouse in the coverage area, which they visit daily to collect the latest data. ILFLS provides a searchable database and a broad array of productivity tools, all designed by and intended primarily for real estate professionals.

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Peter Georgiev
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