U.S. foreclosure filings — including default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions — are down 3 percent year-over-year, according to a year-end foreclosure market report issued by RealtyTrac. The nationwide average of housing units that had at least one foreclosure filing in 2012 came in at 1.39 percent — or one in every 72 units — which is down from the 1.45 percent tallied in 2011. But despite the positive news on the national front, foreclosure activity increased in 25 states in 2012, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Queens, RealtyTrac found, was particularly hard-hit.
New Jersey saw a 55 percent increase in filings year-over-year, and Connecticut and New York saw respective 48 percent and 31 percent climbs in the same time period. Moreover, New York had the longest average 2012 foreclosure time: 1,089 days — up from the 1,072 days recorded in the third quarter and 1,019 recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011.
But even more striking is the year-over-year increase of foreclosure filings in Queens — a total of 4,853 in 2012. According to RealtyTrac numbers provided to The Real Deal, this figure is up a whopping 163.9 percent year-over-year, though still below the national average in terms of the percentage of units with foreclosure filings. Though Blomquist says the increase is due to the delayed New York foreclosure process, he said the impact of Hurricane Sandy — most notably in the Rockaways — could affect the numbers, as foreclosed owners could have storm-damaged properties not worth keeping.
“The impact of the storm could add to the number,” he said.
Besides Queens, foreclosure filings are also up 18.7 percent year-over-year in Staten Island, where there were 1,505 properties with foreclosure filings and was up 0.88 percent in the Bronx, where there were 1,938.
Meanwhile, Manhattan had a total of 611 properties with foreclosure filings last year — down 27.3 percent from 2011 —and Brooklyn had 4,209, which represents a nearly 19 percent year-over-year decrease.