- Rauner to Smiddy: No debate for you
- State Roundup: Moody’s: Regardless of reform, Chicago pension will grow for years
- State Roundup: State could see up to $500 million in unexpected revenue for current FY
- Tax revenues up, Rauner to restore $26 million ‘Good Friday’ cuts
- First Friday Lineup: May 1
- State Roundup: Former governor Walker passes away
- Mayors decry local funding cut proposal, say expect cuts to services
- Senate rejects bill to ban smoking in cars with children present
- Mayors warn of critical cuts if funds are reduced
- Rebuilding Rockford
On Real Estate: Foreclosures still driving housing market
By Jim Hagerty
While the initial wave of subprime foreclosures is largely behind us, another is proving to be a continuing factor in a sizable buyers’ market. With the Illinois unemployment rate (11 percent) at its highest in about 30 years, more properties are likely to be surrendered.
Even with banking incentives, most of which are FHA options, homeowners suddenly without income or forced to live on unemployment benefits are either downsizing or simply walking away. In either case, properties are being sold for much less, and bank-owned listings are still a good buy. The 19,946 foreclosures recorded in Illinois in October marked a 56 percent spike since 2005. Illinois, sixth a month ago, is now ranked third nationally in foreclosure activity, according to Realty Trac.
In April, lenders were forced to give troubled homeowners extra time to restructure their home loans. The measure, naturally, created a false sense of security and showed signs property owners were finding help and homes were not falling to lenders. As jobs, especially in the industrial sector, began drying up and restructure efforts became increasingly difficult for many, the October spike sent shockwaves through most markets, indicating the housing crisis is far from over.
The news is not all negative. Buyers in the right position still have the upper hand, even on properties listed by investors. Investors are able to pick up distressed properties for pennies on the dollar, thoroughly renovate them, pass on monumental savings to new buyers, and realize monumental profits.
From the November 25-December 1, 2009 issue