Foreclosures in New York jump after decline

By Sara Polsky | April 02, 2009 01:39PM

Foreclosures by borough (Source: PropertyShark.com)

After a seasonal dip in the fourth quarter in 2008, foreclosures in New York City increased in the first quarter of this year. But foreclosures were down year-over-year, according to the first-quarter foreclosure report from PropertyShark.com.

There were a total of 869 new foreclosures in the first quarter in the city, compared to 764 in the fourth quarter last year. Foreclosures surged in some boroughs and dropped in others. The number of foreclosures in the Bronx spiked 191 percent from the fourth quarter of 2008; in Queens, the number jumped 17 percent; and in Staten Island, it rose 5 percent. But foreclosures dropped in Manhattan by 23 percent and Brooklyn by 55 percent. Foreclosures were down citywide in the first quarter from 918 in the prior-year period. The report defines a foreclosure as a property scheduled for auction for the first time during the period of the report.

“Brooklyn is really starting to act like Manhattan,” said Bill Staniford, CEO of PropertyShark. “It does seem like a trend, not something that’s just an anomaly.” 

Foreclosures in Queens are another, less fortunate trend. “I would think that Queens is going to at some point come down,” Staniford said. “It strikes me as a little bit odd that it’s remained as high as it has….I would love to see [government intervention] start having an effect in the Queens area.”

But Staniford doesn’t expect the foreclosure numbers to change significantly in Staten Island any time soon. “If there was more interest in living in that area, then I would think those numbers would start coming down.”

Two of the three areas with the greatest increases in foreclosures also had the highest rate of foreclosures per household, with one in every 1,187 homes scheduled for auction in Staten Island and one in every 1,343 homes slated for auction in Queens. Twelve of the city’s top 15 foreclosure-heavy zip codes were in Queens.