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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—Recent reports released by the Illinois Foreclosure Listing Service,, show that Chicagoland foreclosure activity rose sharply during the last two months of 2011. This increase in the number of completed foreclosures contrasts with figures from the rest of the year, which had fewer new foreclosures than the same time period in 2010.

The second quarter of 2011 had the lowest number of foreclosed homes since 2008. The number of foreclosures in the Chicago area during the month of July declined by 46 percent compared to the previous year. This significant decrease lowered the total number of properties in Illinois that were in foreclosure.

During the month of November, the number of new foreclosure filings was higher than in previous months. There was also a significant increase in the number of Chicago area bank owned properties and homes that were sold at foreclosure auctions. Roughly 2,700 properties completed the foreclosure process, which was an increase of over 98 percent from November of 2010. Almost 95 percent of these properties were real estate owned. In addition, the number of new REO properties was higher than the number of homes that were sold at auction. The number of homes that were bought by investors increased by over 50 percent, and this trend is expected to continue in 2012.

In December, the number of properties in Chicago that had foreclosure filings decreased slightly, although this was most likely due to a slow period during the holidays. Overall, the number of Chicago bank owned properties and homes that were sold at foreclosure auctions increased. In fact, the state of Illinois had a foreclosure rate that was one of the highest in the nation. There were 180 homes that were sold at auctions, and this is a difference of 78 percent from the previous year. Also, there were well over 2,000 REO homes, which is an increase of over 81 percent from the previous year and a 13-percent increase from the previous month. Overall, more than 3,000 properties completed the foreclosure process in December, and this is an increase of 81 percent from the previous year. The number of foreclosures is expected to rise in 2012.

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