Thursday, April 16, 2009

Foreclosures Up in NJ

The moratorium was never going to stabilize the housing market. Mostly it would just stall the inevitable. Since the projections for New Jersey are that the housing values will not stabilize until 2012 high foreclosure rates going to be high for some time. The rising underwater rates along with increasing unemployment levels will also need to stabilize to reduce foreclosure levels. So today's report in the Star Ledger article titled N.J. foreclosures start ticking up in March does not come as too much of a surprise. Let's take a look -

Foreclosures in New Jersey jumped nearly 40 percent in March over February, according to RealtyTrac Inc., showing that banks were again taking steps to repossess homes from delinquent owners after months of holding off.

Banks had halted foreclosures as they waited for details of a federal mortgage modification plan and as they integrated new restrictions on foreclosures passed by several states.

It won't end soon, economists say. They predict the unemployment rate will continue to increase throughout the year, meaning more people will not be able to make mortgage payments and, in turn, face foreclosure.


Foreclosures in the state rose 1.96 percent since March 2008. Quarterly data reflected the banks' moratoria. Foreclosures in the first quarter fell nearly 30 percent since the fourth quarter of 2008 and fell 10.7 percent over the first quarter of 2009, according to RealtyTrac, which lists foreclosures.

Foreclosures will not level for some time. While lenders are tightening their requirements - now you need more than a pulse - job losses can wipe out even the most prudent borrower. The difference between mortgage and property taxes and what unemployment disperses is too big for many to maintain their properties. Here is some snippets from an accompanying article from the AP titled US foreclosures up 24 pct in 1Q -

The faltering economy is causing the housing crisis to spread. Nationwide, nearly 804,000 homes received at least one foreclosure-related notice from January through March, up from about 650,000 in the same time period a year earlier, according to RealtyTrac Inc., a foreclosure listing firm.

In March, more than 340,000 properties were affected, up 17 percent from February and 46 percent from a year earlier.

Foreclosures "came back with a vengeance" last month and are likely to keep rising, said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's senior vice president for marketing.

Nearly 191,000 properties completed the foreclosure process and were repossessed by banks in the quarter. While the number was down 13 percent from the fourth quarter of last year, it is expected to rise through the summer and then possibly taper off.


In RealtyTrac's report, Nevada, Arizona, California and Florida had the nation's top foreclosure rates. In Nevada, one in every 27 homes received a foreclosure filing, while the number was one in every 54 in Arizona. Rounding out the top 10 were Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Idaho, Utah and Oregon.

One in 27! That has got to be devasting for the state and the region.

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