Chicago real estate trends create a buyer's market

A report released July 12 showed Chicago foreclosure filings were up 4 percent in June 2012 when compared with a year prior, the Chicago Tribune reported. This information marks a new trend, as June was the second month in a row that showed higher rates year-over-year, The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch reported.

Looking at the Chicagoland area that includes nearby counties, the numbers are worse, according to the Tribune. The counties of Cook, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Dupage and Will saw 6,952 homes begin the foreclosure process in the month of June. Taken together, these counties saw a 27 percent increase in foreclosure activity from June 2011.

While this new trend has many Chicago homeowners concerned, the news does appear to confirm that the present Chicago housing market is a prime buyer's market. Those interested in purchasing real estate in Chicago could be able to buy property at highly desirable prices.

An article out in early June in Chicago Magazine said that the rash of foreclosures in the Midwest could ultimately lead to a positive outcome.

Chicago Magazine spoke with a real estate expert who predicted Chicago will be one of the top five U.S. metros within two decades, with strong property values bolstered by a flourishing economy. This prediction provides further incentive for buyers to take advantage of the current market to invest in real estate.

In another article published in the magazine, the publication's housing and schools expert, Dennis Rodkins, gave a run-through of the top 20 places to live in the city and suburbs in an effort to provide guidance to buyers who are on the search in a somewhat rough market.

On Rodkins' list is Edison Park, a neighborhood located on the far northwest side of Chicago. This area stood alone as a village until about a century ago when it was annexed by Chicago. According to Rodkins, who has been reviewing Chicago neighborhoods for over 20 years, Edison Park has both good public schools and private schools, is a popular restaurant hub, has a Metra commuter train stop, and is home to Olympia Park.

A Northwest side native, Ann Hetzel Gunkel, told Rodkins, "It's got that combination of friendliness, walkable amenities, and classic Chicago houses that are still affordable."