Distressed Sales Plunge in Illinois

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Over the last year, distressed home sales have become far less prominent in Illinois’ housing market


Distressed sales throughout Illinois comprised 18.6 percent of all home sales in May, a marked drop from the 30.6 percent market share of a year ago, according to RealtyTrac’s May 2015 Residential Sales Report.

A detailed look at the nation’s housing market, the Residential Sales Report noted a nationwide drop in distressed sales, which fell to their lowest level since Jan. 2011 (the earliest date for which RealtyTrac has data).

The graph below shows the market share of distressed sales in both the U.S. and its most populous states:


Interestingly, though the Chicagoland area was not among the top-selling distressed markets, its submarket for short sales was still No. 1 in the U.S., with 14.8 percent of all sales occurring in-foreclosure (that’s more than double the 6.6 percent national average).

All-Cash Sales Return to Historical Averages

RealtyTrac’s report also noted a decline in all-cash transactions, though the drop in that sub-market has been less pronounced. For Illinois, 26.3 percent of all home sales in May were all-cash, down from 32.2 percent a year ago.

The graph below shows RealtyTrac’s all-cash findings:


Although many distressed sales are purchased all-cash, quite a few affluent consumers (and international clients) also forgo financing and purchase conventional properties with cash. That explains why all-cash sales did not fall at the same rate as distressed sales, and why in some states, all-cash sales increased year-over-year.

Still, the national all-cash average of 24.6 percent is not only the lowest market share for all-cash since Nov. 2009, but is also consistent with the long-term average for all-cash sales, which is 24.8 percent.

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