Oct. 25 (Bloomberg) -- The New York metropolitan area had the biggest jump in foreclosure filings among top U.S. markets in the third quarter as lenders began to work through a backlog in a region where seizing properties takes the longest.
The 69 percent gain in default, auction and repossession filings was the steepest among the 20 largest metro areas, according to RealtyTrac Inc. The region’s increase, propelled by a ninefold rise in Queens County, New York, and a more than tripling in Sussex County, New Jersey, ran counter to the national trend. Filings declined from a year earlier in more than three-fifths of U.S. metro areas, the Irvine, California-based data provider said today.
“New York will need to turn the corner to deal with the shadow inventory being built up,” Daren Blomquist, a RealtyTrac vice president, said in a telephone interview, referring to a swelling pipeline of pending foreclosures. The rising number of properties facing seizure “remains a threat to home price stability and growth,” he said.
While shrinking nationwide, the shadow inventory is growing in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut because of state laws that slow the process for seizing homes. The state of New York had the longest foreclosure process in the U.S. in the third quarter at 1,072 days, up from 974 days a year earlier, followed by New Jersey with a 931-day process, Blomquist said.
In the second quarter, New Jersey was behind only Florida in the rate of homeowners with seriously delinquent loans, which are 90 days late or in foreclosure, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The measure is a proxy for shadow supply, according to the Washington-based group.
The delinquency rate in New Jersey rose to 12.7 percent in the second quarter, the latest period for which figures are available, from 11.4 percent a year earlier, the association said. New York’s rate was 9.5 percent and Connecticut’s was 8.1 percent.
In the 212 U.S. metro areas with populations of 200,000 or more, 531,576 properties received filings in the third quarter, down 13 percent from a year earlier and 4.8 percent from the second quarter, RealtyTrac said. With decreases in 131 of those areas, “most of the nation’s housing markets are past the worst of the foreclosure problem,” Blomquist said.
Twelve of the top 20 metro areas had declines from a year earlier, led by drops of 36 percent in San Francisco, 31 percent in Detroit, 29 percent in Los Angeles, 27 percent in Phoenix and 26 percent in San Diego, according to RealtyTrac.
In the New York area, meanwhile, filings in Nassau County, on Long Island, rose 35 percent, Blomquist said. Outside of New York, foreclosure filings advanced the most in Tampa, Florida, with a 43 percent increase; Philadelphia and Chicago, with 34 percent gains in both cities; and Seattle, with a 20 percent rise, among the 20 largest U.S. metro areas.
Stockton, California, led the 20 metro areas with the highest rates of foreclosure filings, at one in 67 households, more than three times the U.S. average of one in 248. While cities in California had the seven highest foreclosure rates in the third quarter, all had fewer filings than they did a year earlier, RealtyTrac said.
States such as California, with shorter foreclosure processing periods, have seen home prices recover faster as distressed inventory works through the system. Residential values in the most populous state probably will rise 11 percent this year and 5.7 percent in 2013, the California Association of Realtors said in an Oct. 2 forecast.
Manhattan had the New York area’s lowest foreclosure rate at one in 4,654 households, with Bronx County second-lowest at one in 917, Blomquist said in the interview. The rate in Kings County, also known as Brooklyn, was one in 892. The region’s overall rate was one in 582, he said.
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