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FORECLOSURES RULING THE MARKET? In Chicago, It's Not Quite So Clear Cut!


Chicago Neighborhoods, like most other Real Estate Markets across the U.S, has seen considerable home foreclosures over the past several years.  The sheer number has brought down price medians in many Chicago Neighborhoods and Suburbs. 

The price drops have not been lost at the office that assesses property taxes across Cook County - the county which includes the City of Chicago and many Chicago Suburbs.  So far in 2010, the Cook County Tax Assessor has reassessed four Suburban Townships north of the city.  Each of the four townships - Evanston, Barrington, Norwood Park, and Niles - have shown median price decreases of over 20%.  In Niles Township, immediately north of the Chicago City Limits, Tax-Assessed Values fell 20.4% for this triennial reassessment period.  All data compiled in an article in last Friday's Chicago Tribune by Real Estate Reporter Mary Ellen Podmolik.

The assessed value changes are based on a read on the market as of January 1, 2010.  Numbers for the First Quarter, 2010, from the Cook County Assessor's Office, show some moderation of price drops, however - especially among non-distressed homes for sale.

Indeed, single-family sold units for the First Quarter jumped 25.1% versus the First Quarter, 2009, while the median price of a home sold across Cook County fell a modest 1.1% versus the prior year.

Of the 8.092 single-family homes sold across Cook County for the year ending March 31, 2010, 35.2% were either foreclosed homes, owned by the bank, or properties nearing foreclosure, or short sale transactions, where the property is sold for less than the outstanding mortgage balance.  The median price of these distressed properties - $88,500 - 21% less than one year earlier.

However, of the conventionally-sold properties - not in or near foreclosure - the number of units sold rose 49%, while the median sales price fell only 6.7%, to $231,000. 

Cook County Assessor Data includes all homes where a sale is recorded - those sold by Real Estate Practitioners, and those sold privately, or For Sale By Owner.  In the City of Chicago, the median price of a non-distressed single-family home fell 6.5% between 2009 and 2010, to $252,000.  For Foreclosures and Short Sales, price medians fell 23.8%, to $80,000.

In the North and Northwest Suburbs of Cook County, price medians year over year fell 7.4% for homes in distress, to $150,000.  In the South and West Cook County IL Suburbs, the median prices for distressed homes dropped 23.5% year over year, to $173,000.

Frank Lefor, a Senior Research Analyst at the Cook County Assessor's Office, in Podmolik's article, sees annual price declines, to be sure.  But the figures are not quite as dire if your property is sold conventionally.  Perhaps, he points out, good news for many homesellers, but bad news for the banks now owning or soon to own distressed properties across Chicago and the Chicago Suburbs.


Posted: Sunday, August 08, 2010 9:09 PM by Dean's Team


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