One year after Hurricane Sandy made landfall on the U.S. eastern seaboard, RealtyTrac today reported that foreclosure activity in the first nine months of 2013 is up 33 percent compared to the first nine months of 2012 in the 7-county region including the five boroughs of New York and Long Island.
“The places that were hurt the worst by Sandy have seen an extraordinarily slow comeback,” said Emmett Laffey, president of Laffey Fine Homes covering the five boroughs and Long Island. “The problem is getting the insurance money. The homes have been razed and today they are just a sandlot. Some people have gotten insurance money, some people still can’t get the money. It’s a big mish-mash. Nothing is uniform. Those areas that were hardest hit are still reeling.
“Besides that, metro New York and Long Island are doing fairly well,” Laffey added. “The economy is pretty good. Business is pretty good. People there are still hurting, but things are pretty good all around.”
Queens County reported the highest level of foreclosure activity through September 2013, up 61 percent from the same time period last year. Default notices in particular were up 71 percent, while auction notices increased 24 percent and bank-owned (REO) properties increased 26 percent from the previous year.
Foreclosure activity also increased in Richmond County (Staten Island), up 40 percent during the first nine months of 2013, with bank-owned properties rising 170 percent from the same period last year. Default notices were up 43 percent in the county although scheduled auctions fell 15 percent.
Nassau and Suffolk counties (Long Island) likewise have seen overall increases in foreclosure activity so far this year, up 24 percent in Nassau County up 28 percent in Suffolk County. Bank-owned properties rose substantially during the period, up 45 percent and 50 percent respectively. The level of default notices also rose noticeably during the period, up 24 percent and 28 percent respectively.
Activity levels were also up in Bronx County (39 percent) and Kings County (28 percent) through September. The only county showing a significant decrease in foreclosure activity during the same time period was New York County (Manhattan) where although the hurricane did make landfall and caused significant flooding, foreclosures were down 21 percent with the number of bank-owned properties dropping 82 percent and scheduled auctions falling 53 percent.
Median home prices rose in all seven counties year-over-year for September despite the impact of Sandy.
Median home prices rose by double digits in both Queens and Kings counties (up 16 percent and 12 percent respectively) from September 2012. The median price rose 7 percent in New York County from last year.
The lowest rises in home prices were in three of the counties most affected by Hurricane Sandy — Suffolk County (up 5 percent), Richmond County (up 3 percent) and Nassau County (up 1 percent).
The RealtyTrac U.S. Residential Sales Report provides counts and median prices for sales of residential properties nationwide, by state and metropolitan statistical areas with a population of 500,000 or more. Data is also available at the county level upon request. The report also provides a breakdown of cash sales, institutional investor sales, short sales and bank-owned sales. The data is derived from recorded sales deeds and loan data, which is used to determine cash sales and short sales. Sales counts for recent months are projected based on seasonality and expected number of sales records for those months that are not yet available from public record sources but will be in the future given historical patterns. Statistics for previous months are revised when each new monthly report is issued as more deed data becomes available for those previous months.