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Foreclosures continue to surge in Tri-Cities, Kane

Published: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 6:47 a.m. CDT

The number of homes in foreclosure in and around the Tri-Cities increased in September, according to recent data.

On Thursday foreclosure tracking company RealtyTrac reported even as foreclosure activity slowed nationally, in Illinois and in Kane County’s communities, the foreclosure troubles did not improve last month.

Nationally, RealtyTrac reported the number of homes moving through the foreclosure process slipped about 16 percent in September, compared to the same month in 2011. However, in local communities, the foreclosure rate spiked in September, rising to levels last seen in 2010.

In the four ZIP codes that cover the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia and portions of Campton Hills and surrounding unincorporated areas, the foreclosures increased by 21 percent compared to September 2011, rising from 81 last year to 98 last month.

And in a broader nine ZIP code region that includes the Tri-Cities, South Elgin, Elburn, North Aurora, Sugar Grove, Campton Hills and Maple Park, the total number of foreclosures rose from 157 in September 2011 to 200 this year, an increase of 27.4 percent.

In September 2010, RealtyTrac reported 187 homes in foreclosure in that region.

Kane County’s largest cities continued to suffer even larger spikes in foreclosure activity.

In Aurora’s 60505 ZIP code and in Elgin’s 60123 ZIP code, RealtyTrac reported 121 homes in foreclosure in each community in September. That marked an increase of 36 percent in Aurora and a 92 percent increase in Elgin from 2011.

Leslie Ebersole, a real estate agent with Baird & Warner in St. Charles, said her market reports indicate around 20 to 23 percent of all homes sold in the Tri-Cities in September were considered “distressed” – meaning they were sold either through foreclosure or short sale.

However, while distressed properties surge onto the local marketplace, Ebersole said they also are selling. In some instances, she said they appear to be selling more quickly than homes sold traditionally.

She cited data that showed Tri-Cities homes that were bank-owned as a result of foreclosure and sold in the last 12 months spent 50 to 90 days on the market. Homes sold in a traditional manner spent 133 to 186 days on the market.

“This tells the story that these bank-owned properties are either coming on the market at a lower price or are in better condition than they were before,” Ebersole said. “I think it’s a little of both.”

She said investors appear to snatch up a number of foreclosed homes, as evidenced by a growing number of all-cash transactions.

Ebersole noted a number of buyers also opt for foreclosed homes, often at the expense of short sales.

“They’re saying, ‘I’ll do the bank-owned homes,’ ” Ebersole said.

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