Where Is Foreclosure Inventory the Highest?

July 8, 2011

Chicago has now emerged as the city with the nation’s largest inventory of foreclosed homes, taking the spot that has traditionally belonged to Miami, Los Angeles, and Phoenix since the housing crisis began, according to RealtyTrac.

Chicago now ranks first among the nation’s 20 largest metro areas for foreclosure inventories.

So what’s going on in Chicago to make it suddenly claim the title as No. 1? Housing experts say it’s from several factors, including foreclosure backlogs in courts and some have even blamed it on the stubbornness of banks there to lower prices far below the value of mortgage loans, which are causing homes to sit empty and linger on the market.

According to RealtyTrac, foreclosed properties are selling at a much slower pace in Chicago than other metro areas too (except for New York). In the first five months of the year, 4,004 foreclosed homes in Phoenix were sold each month. However, for comparison, in Chicago, there were only 1,697 foreclosed home sales during that time, and 762 in New York.

What’s more, Chicago’s inventory of foreclosed properties is also falling more slowly than other cities, which is taking its toll on home prices there, experts say.

The Top 3

According to RealtyTrac May 2011 data, here are the top three cities with the highest foreclosure inventories:

1. Chicago: 118,776 homes owned by bank or were in the process foreclosure
2. Los Angeles: 86,745
3. New York City: 84,600

Source: “Biggest Stock of Foreclosed Homes: Right Here,”The New York Times (July 8, 2011)