Chicago’s foreclosures are improving and filings dropped more than a third from the first half of 2012 to the first half of 2013. However, Chicago still has a long way to go towards recovery, the Woodstock Institute reported.

New foreclosure filings in the area fell to the lowest level since the second half of 2007. In the Chicago region, filings fell by 36.1% from 34,978 filings in the first half of 2012 to 22,342 filings in the first half of 2013.

 “While the decline in new foreclosure filings could indicate good news for the Chicago region housing market, it’s too soon to know for sure,” said Spencer Cowan, vice president of research at Woodstock Institute.

“Improvements in the Chicago real estate market, such as increases in home prices in some areas, may have encouraged servicers to pursue short sales or other alternatives to foreclosure,” he added.