Perfect storm hits post-Sandy NJ housing market

November 29, 2012 11:30AM

The after effects of Hurricane Sandy continue to reverberate around the tri-state area, but the already shaky New Jersey housing market may be feeling the worst of the storm’s economic effects, the Wall Street Journal reported. In the midst of falling prices and rising foreclosures, homeowners in the Garden State are deciding whether to keep their homes or move elsewhere, creating further uncertainty.

New Jersey has the second-highest foreclosure rate in the U.S. behind Florida, as The Real Deal has reported. Almost one in six homeowners across New Jersey owes more than their homes are worth, the Journal said. And Sandy could worsen things.

“Anybody who was about to buy a house and needed to get a mortgage, that is stopped in its tracks,” Dana Miller, an agent with Weichert Realtors in Rumson, N.J, told the Journal.

But the situation is not all bleak. Over the past ten years, hurricanes have given rise to a spike in mortgage delinquencies, but not foreclosures, as lenders have given victims some space and time to catch up on mortgage payments, sources told the Journal.

Plus, Miller said hurricane damage shouldn’t have an impact on property values in the long term because “the dumpiest houses will be built with new construction.” [WSJ]Zachary Kussin