U.S. Foreclosures Drop 10% in January as Illinois Rises 2%

Chicago Real EstateGood news – foreclosure filings down nationally.  The not so good news – Illinois in the top 5 of that list with a 2% increase in January over last year.  When the list is of foreclosure filings by state, it’s not where Illinois homeowners particularly (that I know of)  enjoy being near the top.
The data just released by Realtytrac had Illinois posted as the nation’s fourth highest total of foreclosures in January of 2010, with 18,120 properties receiving foreclosure filing during the month.  This represents nearly a 2% increase from the previous month and a 25% increase from January 2009.
A Realtytrac report recently released shows foreclosure filings decreasing nearly 10% from the previous month in the good ‘ole US of A.  However still a huge 15% above the level reported in January 2009.  January, 2010’s 315,716 foreclosed U.S. properties are default  notices, scheduled auctions and bank  repossessions.
On a happier note in the roller-coaster markets of Florida and California, foreclosure activity decreased by double-digit percentages from the previous month.  Both registered nearly identical foreclosure rates with one in every 187 housing units receiving a foreclosure filing. California’s  foreclosure rate was statistically higher by a slim margin and ranked third highest among the states while Florida’s foreclosure rate ranked fourth highest.  Overall in the United States, 1 out of every 409 housing units had foreclosure filings against them in January.
California, Florida and Arizona posted the three highest state totals in terms of properties receiving foreclosure filings in January, and together those states accounted for more than 44 percent of the national total.  Michigan (not surprisingly) posted the nation’s fifth highest total, with 17,574 properties receiving a foreclosure filing, and Texas posted the sixth highest total, with 12,225 properties receiving a foreclosure filing.
Perhaps the key indicator to watch for home values to stabilize and recover to normal levels (not 2003-05 levels but above the cost of replacement),  will be seeing the rate of foreclosures drop substantially in the coming year.  Until then, be prepared for another dismal year in real estate.