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Report: Home foreclosures push down local housing prices

Distressed homes have pushed down housing prices in the Chicago area, according to a report released Tuesday by the real estate data and analytics firm CoreLogic.

Local home prices for August 2012, including homes facing foreclosure, fell 2.5 percent when compared to numbers from the previous year. The report also shows Illinois prices, including distressed home sales, declined 2.3 percent--the second-largest decrease in the United States.

"The foreclosures and the short-sales have a major impact on our market," said Matt Silver, a director at the Chicago Association of Realtors. In a phone interview Monday, he said buyers are "a little more cautious on the properties they do buy."

But Chicago realtors remained optimistic about the condition of the local housing market, saying that prices are expected to pick back up in the coming months.

"Foreclosures need to be dealt with. But I think generally speaking, people are optimistic that they can buy a house today and in two years it will be worth similar to what it’s worth today," said Chicago-based realty expert Jeff Lowe in a phone interview.

According to the CoreLogic report, excluding distressed homes, Chicago-area home prices in August have increased 1.5 percent since last year. Using the same measure, Illinois prices also rose 1.2 percent.

Meanwhile, home prices have risen nationwide. Including distressed properties, values increased 4.6 percent compared to August 2011.    

"Again this month prices rose on a year-over-year basis and our expectation is for that to continue in September based on our pending [...] forecast," said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic, in a statement.

"The housing markets gains are increasingly geographically diverse with only six states continuing to show declining prices." 

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