Spotlight: New Jersey
IN NEW JERSEY, IT TAKES ALMOST TWO YEARS TO PROCESS A FORECLOSURE FROM THE TIME
OF THE FIRST MISSED PAYMENT. AT THE CURRENT RATE OF BANK REPOSSESSIONS, THE PIPELINE OF FORECLOSURES AND SEVERE DEFAULTS WILL BE ALL SETTLED IN THE YEAR 2061.
NEW JERSEY’S 50-YEAR BACKLOG, AS REPORTED BY LPS APPLIED ANALYTICS THIS PAST JUNE,
IS SECOND AMONG STATES TO ONLY NEW YORK.
For their wait, buyers of real estate owned (REO) homes in the Garden State receive an average sales-price discount of 44. 5 percent, the sixth-largest REO concession nationally, according to Realtytrac. this
past first quarter, 1,861 in-state foreclosures sold, nearly half the figure from the same quarter a year
earlier, and foreclosure filings decreased 43. 6 percent.
the drop in filings reflects a state
judicial review of foreclosure practices. New Jersey was one of only
four states to see its percentage of
seriously delinquent mortgages increase in the year ending this past
first quarter, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Since
this past March, a “special master”
has been examining the accuracy,
reliability and legal compliance of
major lenders’ foreclosure documentation in New Jersey. those
lenders must prove their processes
before filing new cases in the state.
NEW JERSE Y FORECLOSURES
With a 75 percent plunge in foreclo-
sure sales since this past September, according to LpS Applied Analytics, many borrowers in the Garden
State have quit paying their mortgages and kept their homes — temporarily, at least.
this past first quarter, 16.2 percent of New Jersey mortgages were under water, according to CoreLogic.
Another 4. 3 percent had less than 5 percent equity. Although both figures increased from the previous
quarter, the state bested national averages of 22. 7 percent negative equity and 5 percent near-negative
equity. CoreLogic also reported New Jersey had the ninth-lowest average loan-to-value ratio, 62. 3 percent, this past first quarter.
note: CoreLogic’s quarterly negative-equity report includes only mortgaged residential properties and excludes seven states
for which adequate data isn’t available.
Home sales and prices
ExISTING-HOME SALES AND MEDIAN PRICES
Generally speaking, the farther
you get from New York City, the
cheaper New Jersey homes become. Although the state median
existing-home price was $280,900
this past first quarter, according
to the New Jersey Association of
Realtors, it increased to $344,700
when considering Northern New
Jersey alone. Statewide, sales decreased 2.8 percent in the year
ending this past first quarter. Affordability — calculated using
home prices, mortgage rates and
median income — increased at the
same time, reaching its highest point in more than a decade, the state Realtors reported.
Source: National Association of Realtors & New Jersey Association of Realtors
*Seasonally adjusted annual rate, in thousands
New Jersey has the second-highest proportion of households earning $200,000 or more annually, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Census figures reported by Yahoo Finance in late 2010 show 7. 5 percent of
state households landing in the bureau’s highest income category. the Census Bureau also reported New
Jersey with the second-highest median household income at $64,777 in 2009, the most recent year available, well above the national mark of $49,777.
Darrick Meneken is an associate editor at Scotsman Guide. Reach him at (800) 297-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s only a 20-minute train ride from the state’s
largest city — population 277,000 — to Lower
Manhattan. that proximity helped the median
home price in the Newark metropolitan area increase 1.2 percent in the year ending this past
first quarter, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
the state capital still proudly recalls its manufacturing heydays, which gave birth to the
town slogan “trenton makes, the world takes.”
Nowadays, state government largely anchors
the economy. In the year ending this past first
quarter, home prices were down 5 percent in
the metropolitan area, according to NAR.
STONE HARBOR wHAT THE LOCALS SAy
It’s the third-most expensive housing market in
the nation, according to Market Watch, which this
past June reported the average cost of a four-bedroom, two-bath house here at $1.34 million.
Home to 866 people, the tourist town occupies
a sliver-shaped border island on the south
“I would say in a perfect world, because of capacity
issues, we’re at least a year off from getting back
on track with foreclosures. Lender staff levels
just aren’t where they need to be. the foreclosure
backlog trickles down to valuation issues. Within 30
to 40 miles of New York City, you have a little more
stabilization of home values. On the Jersey Shore,
however, buying opportunities abound right now.”
— DAVE PRESSEL, BRANCH MANAGER,
wEST TOwN SAVINGS BANK
Sources: Associated press, CoreLogic, essex-countynj.org, LpS Applied Analytics, Market Watch, Mortgage Bankers Association, New Jersey Association of
Realtors, New Jersey Citizen Action, New Jersey Herald, NewJerseyNewsroom.
com, phillyburbs.com, Realtytrac, Rutgers: the State University of New Jersey,
The New York Times, The Press of Atlantic City, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. News &
World Report, Yahoo Finance