The analysis also found:

In the first quarter of 2011, Cook County experienced a 7.2 percent increase in foreclosure filings compared to the first quarter of 2010.

Increases were observed in all areas of Suburban Cook, ranging from the biggest increase in North Cook County (18.2 percent) to the smallest increase in Northwest Cook County (10.4 percent).

Newly filed foreclosures increased slightly in the City of Chicago, where foreclosure filing activity increased just one percent in the first quarter of 2011 over the same period in 2010.  In City of Chicago community areas, large increases were observed in East Side (108.7), Archer Heights (76.2), Lakeview (60.3) and North Center (57.9).  Significant decreases were observed in Washington Heights (25.6), Auburn Gresham (29), Irving Park (21.2), and Rogers Park (20.2).

A significant decline in completed foreclosure auctions was observed in the first quarter of 2011 in Cook County when comparing data to the same period in 2010.

In many areas of Cook County, more properties completed foreclosure in the first quarter of 2011 than in the fourth quarter of 2010, when the flow of data was significantly impacted by the near industry-wide rescheduling-and-review of foreclosure cases prompted by the robo-signing scandal.

In Cook County, 54.3 percent fewer properties completed the auction process in the first quarter of 2011 than in the first quarter of 2010.

Significant year-over-year declines were observed in all sub-areas of Cook County and in nearly every Chicago community area.

Comparing the first quarter of 2011 to the fourth quarter of 2010, completed auctions increased by 10.5 percent in Cook County.  In Suburban Cook, increases ranged from 20.3 percent in Southwest Cook County to 10.9 percent in North Cook County.  Slight decreases were observed in Northwest Cook County (1.9) and South Cook County (0.3).  In the City of Chicago, completed auctions increased by 14.4 percent between the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011.

It is likely that a steady increase in auctions quarter to quarter will continue to be observed in 2011 as the bottleneck created by the robo-signing scandal is resolved. In Cook County in the first quarter of 2011, as has been true throughout the crisis, the vast majority of properties were not purchased at auction and instead reverted to the lender as Real Estate Owned (REO).  It is likely that many of these REO properties are now vacant.

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How do vacant properties impact neighborhoods?

Vacant properties put substantial strain on community resources by potentially lowering property values and attracting destabilizing elements. For more information on the impact of vacant homes, see our latest report (press release) .