By Patrick Donachie
Foreclosure rates in Queens seem to be on a decline in the first quarter of the current year, according to a new analysis from the real estate research firm PropertyShark.
The borough had a record number of foreclosures during 2016, with a peak in the second quarter of the year, when 289 homes were foreclosed. In the first quarter of 2017, on the other hand, 184 homes in the borough were scheduled for auction. Though the number was an increase from the fourth quarter of 2016, it was lower than the pace set in the first quarter of last year and far below the second-quarter high.
Even with the drop in the number of foreclosures, Queens remained, by far, the borough with the highest number of foreclosures in the first quarter of 2017. Brooklyn was in second place with 98 homes slated for foreclosure, nearly 90 homes fewer than in Queens. Brooklyn, however, was the only borough in the city to see an increase in the number of foreclosed homes from the first quarter of 2016.
The 11434 zip code area in Queens saw more first-time foreclosures than any other part of the borough in the first quarter of 2017, with 27 in total. The area encompasses much of southeastern Queens, including parts of Rochdale, South Jamaica, St. Albans and Springfield Gardens.
Citywide, foreclosures dropped 15 percent between the first quarter of last year and this year’s first quarter, nearly matching the Queens dip of 16 percent. Unlike Queens, the city recorded an 11 percent decrease in foreclosures from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017. The Bronx had a plunge in the rate of new foreclosures, with 33 percent fewer homes slated for auctions. In the first quarter of 2016, 102 homes were scheduled for auction in the borough, compared to 68 homes in the first quarter of this year.
The city, overall, also had a decline in the number of homes entering pre-foreclosure, which occurs when an owner is late on mortgage payments and has been issued a lis pendens — a lawsuit filed by the lender to start foreclosure actions. The homeowner still has a chance to avoid foreclosure, but an analysis of lis pendens suits can help forecast future foreclosure trends.
In the first quarter of 2017, 3,082 homeowners had a lis pendens case pending, according to PropertyShark. This was a 16 percent decline from the first quarter of the prior year. However, there was a marked increase in lis pendens cases from the fourth quarter of 2016 to this quarter, from 2,590 to 3,082.
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona