Condo foreclosures drive new foreclosure growth in Chicago suburbs, new data show

New foreclosure filings on condominiums are a rising share of foreclosure activity in the Chicago region, new data from Woodstock Institute show. New filings on condominiums in the six-county region grew by two percentage points from 17 percent to 19 percent of all foreclosure filings between the first half of 2009 and first half of 2010.

Condominium foreclosures comprise an increasingly large share of new filing activity in suburban Cook County. New filings on condominiums grew most dramatically in North and Northwest Cook County, growing by 77 and 76 percent, respectively, from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010. New filings on condominiums in the City of Chicago grew by 38 percent over the same time period, although the City had the largest number of filings on condominium units in the first half of 2010. Outside of Cook County, the share of total filings that were on condominiums stayed relatively flat or declined slightly between the first half of 2009 and first half of 2010.

The data indicate that many of the new condominium foreclosures may be extremely concentrated geographically in large suburban developments. For example, filings on 98 condominium units in a single development in Northwest Cook County represented seven percent of the total condominium filings in that subregion in the first half of 2010 (see map below). Municipalities with the largest number and concentration of condominium foreclosures include Palatine, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Wheeling, and Arlington Heights.

“Growing numbers of foreclosures on condominiums pose new challenges to those working to prevent foreclosures,” said Geoff Smith, Woodstock Institute Senior Vice President. “Security barriers and units occupied by renters can make it difficult to track down the condominium owner and inform them of available resources. Policymakers and community groups should work with condominium associations to facilitate communication with owners and keep them in their homes when feasible.”

New foreclosure filings in the six-county region grew considerably, with a 38 percent increase from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010. The data trends reflected patterns seen in recent quarters. For example, the largest increases in new filings occurred in middle- and higher-income communities, while communities of color that were initially hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis continue to see decreases in new filings. Regions that saw high year-over-year increases include DuPage County (75 percent), Lake County (65 percent), and McHenry County (61 percent). In the City of Chicago, year-over-year increases in new filings were seen in the Loop (120 percent), the Near West Side (72 percent), and Rogers Park (71 percent). Year-over-year declines in new filings were seen in Englewood (-17 percent), West Englewood (-17 percent), and Grand Boulevard (-13 percent).

“While new foreclosure filings continue to decrease in lower-income communities and communities of color, this does not mean that the foreclosure crisis is over in these neighborhoods,” Smith said. “They still must contend with high numbers of vacant properties that contribute to neighborhood destabilization and dampen already-weak real estate markets.”

Completed foreclosure auctions decreased slightly in the six-county Chicago region by 7 percent from the first quarter of 2010 to the second quarter of 2010, although auctions are 15 percent higher in the second quarter of 2010 compared to the second quarter of 2009. The biggest increases in foreclosure auctions were seen in Kane County (55 percent), Lake County (50 percent), and Northwest Cook County (39 percent), while declines were seen in the City of Chicago (-2 percent) and South Cook County (-5 percent).

A consistently high percentage of foreclosed-upon homes became lender-owned in the second quarter of 2010. An average of 95 percent of foreclosure auctions in the Chicago six-county region resulted in lender ownership of the home, compared with 93 percent in Kane County, 97 percent in Lake County, and 96 percent in Northwest Cook County.