Foreclosure activity is slowing. Across the country as well as in Chicago, fewer and fewer homes had a foreclosure filing. According to information released Thursday, foreclosures nationally have fallen by 8 percent from July to August which chicago foreclosuresrepresents the lowest level of foreclosure activity in eight years.

Chicago’s filings also fell during the same period, declining 5.7 percent. In Cook County, foreclosure activity fell by a whopping 55 percent compared to August of 2012. This according to the information provided by the real estate information service, RealtyTrac. (1)

So what does that mean? Obviously it means that the real estate market is stabilizing but it also means there are fewer opportunities for investors to find distressed homeowners. With fewer foreclosures, there isn’t as large of a pool from which to choose. For the casual real estate investor, it will be even more difficult.

There are opportunities to invest in real estate in any market but the difference is who and how those deals are identified. For the professional real estate investor, the process of finding prospective purchases doesn’t change at the whim of the markets. It’s the same methodology when foreclosures are up as when they are down.

In fact, when the news hits the airwaves that there are fewer foreclosures many real estate investors will think the gravy train has left the station. But those individuals have always picked the low-hanging fruit, or so they thought, and that fruit is no longer there for the picking.

However, low-hanging fruit is not the path to real estate investing success. The long term, successful real estate investor goes far beyond a foreclosure filing. Sure, that’s a sure-fire way to find a distressed property owner but the fact is that most foreclosures never lead to the bank taking the property back. The bank and the owner make a deal and the foreclosure filing is lifted.

And when there are fewer “investors” active in the market, that leaves the playing field to the pros. Fewer foreclosures doesn’t change the investment landscape, the process is still the same.