Data Anecdotes: Foreclosure filings and auctions, 2015 in review

The Chicago six county region had an 11.2 percent decline in foreclosure filings, and Chicago a 9.6 percent decline, between 2014 and 2015. Chicago Community Areas with the greatest declines from 2014 to 2015 include Armour Square (60 percent), Forest Glen and Oakland (43 percent), and Irving Park (39 percent).

Despite the overall decrease, nearly a quarter of the 77 Chicago Community Areas recorded increases in the number of foreclosure filings between 2014 and 2015. Most notably, the Austin neighborhood had 408 foreclosure filings in 2015, a 10 percent increase from last year and the highest number of filings within a neighborhood in Chicago. I encourage you to play and interact with the data.The six county region had a 27.5 percent decline in completed foreclosure auctions from 2014 to 2015. In Chicago, completed foreclosure auctions remain at the lowest levels since before the foreclosure crisis. Notably, Englewood (40 percent) and New City (36 percent) observed some of the greatest decreases in auction activity from 2014 to 2015. Over a third of the 77 Chicago Community Areas, however, recorded increases in completed foreclosure auctions between 2014 and 2015. Chicago region counties with the greatest declines in completed foreclosure auctions include Kane County (41.3 percent), Will County (36.9 percent), and DuPage County (35.8 percent).

The data show that the impact of the foreclosure crisis is no longer as apparent in the numbers of foreclosure filings or completed auctions. The continuing decline in foreclosure filings is encouraging, suggesting that fewer home owners are defaulting on their mortgages. The Real Estate Owned (REO) rate continues to decrease as well, down to 81.2 percent of auctioned properties. Fewer properties entering REO status is encouraging because REO properties are far more likely to stand vacant, blighting neighborhoods. At the peak of the crisis, 99 percent of homes sold at auction became REO, essentially every foreclosure made its way back to a bank’s portfolio. The decrease in the REO percentage bodes well for continued housing market recovery, although the real water-shed moment will be when long-term vacancies begin to steadily decline, especially in the hardest hit neighborhoods. To interact with the data and build your own custom visualizations, click here.