The number of bank-owned, vacant foreclosures in the Chicago area are up 92 percent this year, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
That sounds bad, but it may actually be promising, said ATTOM Data Solutions Vice President Daren Blomquist.
After the housing crisis, many homes lingered in foreclosure for years, Blomquist said. Many of those homes became known as “zombie foreclosures,” properties where the original owner moved out and the bank had not taken possession of the building.
Blomquist said banks finally taking possession is “a step in the right direction… because when the bank takes ownership of the home, presumably the next step should be to fix up the home if it’s needed and put it on the market for sale.”
He said even if the sale of a foreclosed home is far off, banks are required to maintain the properties they own.
Nationally, the number of bank-owned, vacant foreclosed homes is up 67 percent from this time last year, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
Miles Bryan is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him at @miles__bryan.