Number of homes in NYC foreclosure pipeline declines

By Sarabeth Sanders | August 12, 2010 12:00AM

Lis pendens down by 52 percent in July

In a possible indication that the foreclosure cycle has already reached its peak in New York City, July became the sixth straight month in which fewer homes than last year made their entry into the state’s foreclosure pipeline, according to data from RealtyTrac released today.

Lis pendens, the initial default notices that mark the beginning of the foreclosure process, were down 52 percent citywide last month, to 1,043 notices, from July 2009’s 2,183 notices, RealtyTrac said.

Overall, the city saw 1,377 foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — marking a decline of more than 45 percent from the same month last year and of nearly 18 percent from June.

Each of the five boroughs also saw both year-over-year and month-over month decreases in foreclosure activity. Even in Queens and Staten Island, the boroughs hardest-hit by the foreclosure crisis, foreclosure activity declined by 59 percent and 27 percent, respectively, from July 2009.

“It appears that we’re seeing a definite trend in fewer properties entering the foreclosure process [in New York City],” said Daren Blomquist, a spokesperson for RealtyTrac. “The lis pendens are really what’s driving the decreases in the overall foreclosure filing numbers.”

Although “there’s still some risk because of the relatively high unemployment rates that could drive some more people into foreclosure,” Blomquist said, “New York City is looking very good in terms of its foreclosure situation compared to the rest of the country.”

Whereas the national average foreclosure rate was one in every 397 homes, only one in every 2,443 New York City homes was hit with a foreclosure filing in July. New York State ranked 45th in the country with its foreclosure rate of one in every 2,271 homes.

Despite nationwide declines of nearly 10 percent year-over-year, foreclosure activity in the U.S. exceeded 300,000 fillings for the 17th month in a row, RealtyTrac said. Filings rose by almost 4 percent from the month before, attributable to a steady upswing in bank repossessions not replicated in New York City.

“Looking back over the last few years, New York City really has escaped the brunt of the foreclosure problem,” Blomquist said.