WBEZ | RealtyTrac http://www.wbez.org/tags/realtytrac Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en 'Zombie' homes give Chicago operators an opportunity http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-homes-give-chicago-operators-opportunity-112722 <p><p dir="ltr">In early July, Chicago police officers arrested four men for taking over 14 vacant foreclosed homes &mdash; living in some and renting out the rest &mdash; mostly in prosperous neighborhoods. Seven years after the housing market crashed, there are still enough vacant homes to provide opportunities for this kind of creativity.</p><p dir="ltr">Eight of the houses were in Beverly Hills and Morgan Park&mdash; South Side Chicago neighborhoods that look like suburbs, complete with big brick houses, winding streets and a vigilant neighborhood group, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bapa.org/" target="_blank">Beverly Area Planning Association</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">One of the homes sits a block and a half from the group&rsquo;s office, on a street the association&rsquo;s executive director, Margot Holland, describes as &ldquo;beautiful,&rdquo; lined with trees and spacious houses.</p><p dir="ltr">The taken-over house fits right in. The white-brick split-level is obviously well cared for, with tidy landscaping and a sign in front indicating that a security system is in place. &ldquo;Yeah, it definitely doesn&rsquo;t look suspicious,&rdquo; Holland says.</p><p dir="ltr">So, how does a tidy home on a beautiful block end up ripe for the picking?</p><p dir="ltr">For help in understanding the context and in sorting through the public records, I turned to Rob Rose, director of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cookcountylandbank.org/" target="_blank">Cook County Land Bank Authority</a>. Created in 2013 to help clear a backlog of vacant foreclosed properties, the land bank focuses on a collection of 23,000 tax-delinquent parcels.</p><p dir="ltr">Asked how long it might take him to dispose of all 23,000, Rose has a ready answer: &ldquo;The rest of my life.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">His answer is based on a simple calculation. Rose thinks that clearing 500 properties a year &mdash; by finding new buyers or recommending targeted demolition &mdash; would be a pretty good pace for his small office. At age 44, that would keep him in the job until he&rsquo;s 90.</p><p dir="ltr">However, as a public records search on the taken-over homes shows, there are far more than 23,000 vacant properties.</p><p dir="ltr">None of the eight properties in Beverly and Morgan Park are on Rose&rsquo;s lists, because the property taxes are still being paid, presumably by the lender, as a hedge against forfeiting the parcel in a tax auction.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This is the most difficult type of property to get to, because there&rsquo;s no immediate red flags,&rdquo; Rose says.</p><p dir="ltr">For the split-level, records show foreclosure started three years ago, but the lender hasn&rsquo;t taken title. That&rsquo;s about average in Illinois, which has more protections for homeowners than many states.</p><p dir="ltr">According to Daren Blomquist, vice president of the real-estate analytics company&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realtytrac.com/" target="_blank">RealtyTrac</a>, that delay means a foreclosed home in Illinois is more likely to be abandoned. &ldquo;The longer it&rsquo;s in that process, the better the chance that the homeowner is just leaving the property.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Nationally, RealtyTrac counts about 127 thousand of these&nbsp;<a href="http://www.realtytrac.com/news/tag/zombie-foreclosures/" target="_blank">&ldquo;zombie properties&rdquo; stuck in foreclosure indefinitely</a>. &ldquo;When you consider that at any given time, there&rsquo;s probably a couple million homes for sale, this isn&rsquo;t an overwhelming number of properties,&rdquo; Blomquist says. &ldquo;Compared to overall inventory nationally, it really is a drop in the bucket. I think this really is a neighborhood issue.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But even in a nice neighborhood, a few zombies here and there can provide an opening for creative operators.</p><p dir="ltr"><em>&mdash; <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/zombie-homes-give-chicago-operators-opportunity">via Marketplace</a></em></p></p> Tue, 25 Aug 2015 12:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/zombie-homes-give-chicago-operators-opportunity-112722 Rockford, Chicago area have some of the highest foreclosure rates in U.S. http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-chicago-area-have-some-highest-foreclosure-rates-us-98590 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/foreclosuresign-AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rockford, Ill. and the Chicago area are experiencing some of the highest metropolitan foreclosure rates in the country. According to new data from <a href="http://www.realtytrac.com/content/coreclosure-market-report/foreclosure-trends-metro-foreclosure-activity-in-q1-2012-7167">RealtyTrac</a>, the foreclosure filings in those areas are up both from last quarter and last year.</p><p>When Ed Jacob, head of the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, found the foreclosure data online, he said the news was discouraging for a few reasons.</p><p>"When I found this article online - is this like a sign of something - the pop up ad was scary signs of depression and then it had a question mark. Does that mean anything?" Jacob said.<br><br>In the Chicago, Joliet and Naperville area, foreclosures in quarter one are up almost 18 percent from last year. The jump is even larger in Rockford, where filings are up by almost 51 percent from last year.</p><p>Jacob said the numbers are going to remain stubbornly high until the area sees more job growth. Foreclosures, he said, aren't just a problem in low-income neighborhoods anymore, it's a state-wide issue.</p><p>"A lot of the homeowners who are coming to NHS for assistance right now are actually from the suburban ring or those areas or neighborhoods that we felt were stronger neighborhoods but they've had loss in income," he said.</p><p>Jacob said the increase could also be from a $25 billion dollar <a href="http://illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/bankforeclosuresettlement.html">multi-state settlement</a> reached with the nation's largest banks over robo-signing, which improperly approved foreclosures.</p></p> Thu, 26 Apr 2012 07:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-chicago-area-have-some-highest-foreclosure-rates-us-98590 Foreclosures jump in Chicago as banks work through backlog http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosures-jump-chicago-banks-work-through-backlog-97334 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-15/P1000922.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Foreclosure filings in the Chicago metro area jumped 43 percent in February from a year ago.</p><p>The good news is that a jump in foreclosures means banks are working through their backlog and the end becomes closer in sight. But for homeowners, the bad news is that will probably drag down prices even more.</p><p>Geoff Smith heads the Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University.</p><p>"There’s probably not going to be a lot of great news on the housing market for the next six months to a year in terms of property values, but this is something that has to happen," Smith said.</p><p>The housing data firm RealtyTrac says the number of foreclosure auctions scheduled in Illinois more than doubled in February.</p><p>Smith says banks are moving ahead now that they’ve reached a settlement with state attorneys general over shoddy paperwork and robo-signing.</p></p> Thu, 15 Mar 2012 19:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosures-jump-chicago-banks-work-through-backlog-97334 Chicago foreclosures go for 50 percent off http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-foreclosures-go-50-percent-96842 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-29/P1040005.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>The foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac says you can buy bank-owned properties in Chicago for steep discounts, but a realtor cautions that you get what you pay for.</p><p>How steep? 50 percent off.</p><p>That’s how much RealtyTrac says foreclosed homes in the Chicago area fetched at the end of last year compared with non-foreclosures. But @Properties realtor Sue Fox says don’t expect luxury.</p><p>"Holes in the walls, stained carpets, buckled floors - all these things are very common when you walk into a foreclosure," Fox said.</p><p>So Fox says a lot of the discount gets eaten up with rehab costs and not everyone can afford that.</p><p>"A lot of homebuyers, regular homebuyers, can’t work with these properties because they can’t get a rehab loan to fix it up, unless they get an FHA loan," Fox said.</p><p>And that’s why Fox says many of these properties sit vacant for months, if not years, deteriorating even more.</p><p>RealtyTrac says homes in pre-foreclosure sold for about a third less than non-foreclosures in the Chicago area in the fourth quarter. Altogether, more than a quarter of all homes sold in the Chicago area in the fourth quarter were in pre-foreclosure or were bank-owned.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 29 Feb 2012 18:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-foreclosures-go-50-percent-96842 Illinois foreclosure filings drop for a second year http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-foreclosure-filings-drop-second-year-95478 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-January/2012-01-11/P1040002.JPG" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" class="caption" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-12/foreclosures_ashley gross.jpg" style="width: 338px; height: 600px; float: left; margin: 5px;" title="The view inside a vacant, ransacked building in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood. (WBEZ/Ashley Gross)">Foreclosure filings dropped in Illinois for a second year in a row, prompting some hope that the crisis is slowing.<br> <br> The foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac says foreclosure filings in Illinois fell 32 percent last year – pretty much in line with the nation as a whole. In a statement, RealtyTrac CEO Brandon Moore said foreclosures were delayed in 2011 as banks worked through paperwork problems and legal issues.<br> <br> But Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business says the drop is a reflection of an economy that’s slowly improving. &nbsp;<br> <br> "Shocks are still coming, people are still getting laid off, the job market isn’t great," Hurst said, "But we should see declines in the foreclosure rates relative to periods when unemployment was unimaginably high and housing prices were plummeting at a very fast rate."<br> <br> Kendall County had the highest foreclosure rate in all of Illinois last year, with one out of every 23 households receiving a foreclosure filing.&nbsp; Kane and McHenry counties were second and third. Overall, Illinois had the eighth highest foreclosure rate in the country.<br> &nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 12 Jan 2012 06:01:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-foreclosure-filings-drop-second-year-95478 Foreclosure filings in Illinois jump in August http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosure-filings-illinois-jump-august-92044 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-15/IMAG1088.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Foreclosure filings in Illinois jumped 18 percent from July to August, and that means the housing market still has a long slog ahead. The latest numbers from RealtyTrac show banks are starting to move ahead with foreclosures again. They had slowed down a lot last year and earlier this year to sort out problems related to sloppy paperwork and robo-signing of documents.</p><p>Ed Stuart, economics professor at Northeastern Illinois University, says foreclosures are becoming more normal and less stigmatized and that’s changing people’s behavior. "People are switching their focus to making sure their credit cards and auto payments are kept up and not their mortgages," Stuart said.</p><p>In the Chicago area, the foreclosure crisis appears most severe in the collar counties. Kendall, Kane and McHenry counties had the highest foreclosure rates in the state.</p></p> Thu, 15 Sep 2011 20:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/foreclosure-filings-illinois-jump-august-92044 Illinois foreclosure rates, housing prices down from last year http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-foreclosure-rates-housing-prices-down-last-year-90456 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/87134629.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A new report suggests Illinois' rate of home foreclosure fell 3.5 percent between June and July.&nbsp;The RealtyTrac Group said the foreclosure rate is now almost 50 percent lower than last year.&nbsp;</p><p>But there's still some bad housing news: <a href="http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/2Q11">a report from the&nbsp;Illinois Association of Realtors</a> said that home prices are actually down 18 percent.&nbsp;</p><p>"The thing that we have continued to be fighting over the last several years is consumer confidence....And it was shaken by our budget talks," said&nbsp;Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, president of the IAR.</p><p>"So we need to get some stability out there in those marketplaces for people to feel comfortable again to move ahead with other major purchases," Whitehurst continued. "I know we personally had one buyer who backed out of looking at a home because she did receive Social Security checks and she said, 'I don’t know if I’m going to receive my checks.'"</p><p>Whitehurst says it's best to compare this year's housing market with figures from 2009, not 2010,&nbsp;because buyers in 2010 benefited from a tax credit.&nbsp;The <a href="http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/sites/illinoisrealtor.org/files/2011marketstats/3Q11%20Forecast%20Media%20Report.pdf">IAR predicts</a> housing prices in the Chicago region will catch up with their 2010 levels in September.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 11 Aug 2011 20:25:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-foreclosure-rates-housing-prices-down-last-year-90456