Q1 Foreclosure Report: NYC Foreclosures Reach Highest Figure in 11 Quarters But Remain Well Below Pre-Pandemic Figures


Key Takeaways:

  • First-time foreclosures steadily on the rise in NYC, reach highest figure in three years
  • With 1,330 filings, citywide lis pendens nearly equal Q3 2019 figures
  • Manhattan logs just one foreclosure less than in Q1 2020
  • Queens marks largest number of lis pendens in 14 quarters
  • Brooklyn claims nearly half of citywide pre-foreclosure filings
  • Foreclosures in The Bronx reach just one-fifth of pre-pandemic totals
  • In line with citywide trends, Staten Island foreclosures rise by 30% quarter-over-quarter
  • Queens’ Jamaica claims highest concentration of first-time foreclosures in one neighborhood with 20 cases

NYC Foreclosures Rise 29% Quarter-over-Quarter to Reach Highest Figure in 3 Years

Three years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York City foreclosure market is still significantly below its pre-pandemic activity levels. That said, the 373 cases filed in Q1 2023 represented the highest number of foreclosures in 11 quarters. However, citywide cases remained well below Q1 2020 (the last nearly complete pre-pandemic quarter). Specifically, Q1 2023’s caseload was 46% lower than the 688 filings logged in Q1 2020.

Since the lifting of the foreclosure moratorium in Q1 2022, foreclosure and pre-foreclosure activity in the city has been rising with foreclosures at a more muted, but steady pace. As a result, Q1 2023 was the fifth consecutive quarter to log more foreclosure cases than the previous period, marking a 29% increase over Q4 2022 with three of five boroughs recording similar quarter-over-quarter gains.

Conversely, NYC lis pendens decreased quarter-over-quarter with four of the five boroughs trending down and Queens the only one to trend up: While Queens lis pendens were up 13% quarter-over-quarter, citywide cases were down 8%. In this case, the slowdown was most evident in Manhattan, where pre-foreclosure filings dropped 37% quarter-over-quarter.

Compared to Q1 2020, citywide pre-foreclosures were up 52% to total 1,330 cases. But, while pre-foreclosures have been quicker to return to pre-COVID levels, it must be noted that the fourth quarter of 2019 was particularly slow in terms of lis pendens filings. Specifically, Q4 2019 had only about 1,400 instances versus the nearly 2,400 recorded in Q3 2019, which was a more typical quarter for the city.

Manhattan Foreclosure Sector Reaches Pre-Pandemic Levels

Manhattan was one of the three boroughs where foreclosures increased by about one-third quarter-over-quarter, with the number of foreclosures 32% higher than in Q4 2022. In actual cases, that represented an increase from 28 cases to 37. And, of those 37 cases, nine were clustered on the Upper West Side.

Once again comparing to Q1 2020, Manhattan foreclosures were down 3%, meaning that the borough was just one case away from equaling its last pre-pandemic quarter. Similarly, Manhattan was just two cases away from matching Q4 2019, which totaled 39 instances.

Likewise, the borough’s pre-foreclosure sector was also in line with citywide trends — logging quarterly drops, but coming in above Q1 2020 levels. More precisely, Manhattan lis pendens were down 37% quarter-over-quarter, dropping from 126 to 80. But, compared to the last pre-pandemic quarter when the borough saw only 11 lis pendens filings, Manhattan pre-foreclosures were up by 90%.

Queens Pre-Foreclosures Down 15% Compared to 2021 Figures

Meanwhile, Queens remained the most active foreclosure market in the city, totaling 171 cases in the first quarter of the year — more than double the number of cases in Brooklyn, which was the next-most active borough in the city. In fact, Queens supplied nearly half of the city’s foreclosure caseload. As such, it was to be expected that the borough would also claim the individual neighborhood with the highest concentration of first-time foreclosures: Accordingly, Jamaica was the setting for 20 new filings.

The borough also marked a 33% quarter-over-quarter increase and its fourth consecutive quarter in which foreclosures reached three-digit totals. However, Queens foreclosures remained 42% below pre-pandemic levels.

In terms of pre-foreclosures, Queens went against the grain as the only borough to log an increase in lis pendens filings, with cases rising 13% quarter-over-quarter. Moreover, the borough also marked the highest increase in pre-foreclosures compared to pre-pandemic activity, surging 143% over Q1 2020. This was the largest volume of pre-foreclosures in Queens since Q3 2019.

Brooklyn Supplies Nearly Half of NYC Pre-Foreclosures, Despite Quarter-over-Quarter Decline

Although Queens logged the sharpest (and only) increase in lis pendens filings compared to the previous quarter, Brooklyn nevertheless had the most active pre-foreclosure sector in the city, claiming 46% of citywide cases. And, despite Brooklyn pre-foreclosures actually declining 13% quarter-over-quarter, the borough still totaled 614 filings ­— 67% more than Queens, the next-most active borough.

That also meant that 46% more lis pendens were filed in the first quarter of this year than during the same period in 2020. Notably, with the exception of Q4 2022, the first quarter of 2023 was Queens’ most active in terms of pre-foreclosures since Q3 2019.

Conversely, foreclosure activity was half of what it was prior to the pandemic with 49% fewer cases filed. Yet, foreclosure activity was steadily on the rise in Brooklyn, too: The 83 cases filed in the first quarter of the year represented the largest number of first-time foreclosures filed in one quarter since COVID-19 swept across the U.S.

Even so, quarter-over-quarter, Brooklyn foreclosures rose at a noticeably slower pace than they did in the other four boroughs. Specifically, foreclosures inched up 12% here, whereas Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island cases rose by about one-third and the Bronx jumped 67%.

As far as foreclosure clusters, East New York was the borough’s most active neighborhood for first-time filings, logging 11 new cases in the first quarter of the year.

The Bronx Remains Least Active Foreclosure Market in NYC

In line with citywide trends, foreclosures in the Bronx were also in the rise. In fact, on a percentage basis, the Bronx logged the sharpest quarter-over-quarter increase at 67%. However, that represented a caseload increase of just 10 (going from 15 to 25), meaning that the Bronx remained the borough with the lowest number of foreclosures.

Of course, that trend was historically typical for the borough prior to the pandemic, as well. This stems, in large part, from the fact that homeownership rates in the Bronx are the lowest in the city at around 20%. In particular, of the borough’s 25 new cases, six were concentrated in the neighborhood of Parkchester.

However, foreclosure activity in the Bronx was also the furthest from pre-pandemic levels. Specifically, the first quarter of the year logged 71% fewer cases than the same period in 2020, marking yet another quarter with the lowest case incidence increase in the city.  

Bronx pre-foreclosures were also muted and declined further, decreasing by nearly one-third quarter-over-quarter. In fact, pre-foreclosures here were at their lowest historical level ever (with the exception of Q2 2020), totaling a mere 17 lis pendens filings. Of note, that also included the period in which the foreclosure moratorium was in effect.

Plus, lis pendens have continued to decline in the Bronx since the moratorium was lifted, dropping from the 71 pre-foreclosures logged in Q1 2022. Compared to the first quarter of 2020, the Bronx had 86% fewer cases and was the only borough in the city to log fewer cases in Q1 2023 than three years prior.

Staten Island Foreclosures Up by One-Third Over Q4 2022, Down by Half Compared to Q1 2020

Lastly, Staten Island was firmly in line with citywide trends — both in terms of foreclosures and pre-foreclosures. Namely, Q1 foreclosures in Staten Island were up by nearly one-third (similar to Manhattan and Queens), reaching a total of 57 cases.

Furthermore, cases here were half that of Q1 2020: Specifically, Staten Island foreclosures were down 48%, while citywide cases were 46% lower. Moreover, the highest concentration of foreclosures in any one neighborhood was less than five cases, with New Springville being the borough’s foreclosure hotspot.

Like Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, Staten Island pre-foreclosures were also more scarce in the first quarter of this year than in the last quarter of 2022. But, unlike the three other boroughs, lis pendens declined by just 4% here, inching down from 263 to 252.

Compared to the first quarter of 2020, pre-foreclosures were up 76% and, with the exception of Q4 2022, marked the largest number of lis pendens incidences since Q3 2019.

Methodology

Having tracked foreclosure listings for more than a decade, PropertyShark is the only service in New York that guarantees 100% coverage of the local foreclosure market. Because auctions are frequently postponed and/or rescheduled, the statistics referenced in this report include only first-time foreclosures in order to avoid over-reporting the number of distressed properties in the city.

Separately, we also report on lis pendens (pre-foreclosure) filings, which are legal notices that mark the beginning of the foreclosure process.

This report focuses exclusively on residential properties (single and two-family homes; condos; and co-op units) that were scheduled for auction for the first time in Q1 2023.

Pre-foreclosure data refers to unique properties that had at least one lis pendens filing in Q1 2023, which may be a first-time filing or a refiling. The same building class restrictions apply, excluding co-ops. If more than three units were referenced on the same lis pendens filing, they were excluded in order to avoid accounting for entire buildings.



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Mike McNamara

Mike McNamara

A Las Vegas Realtor since 2008. Mike has a wide range of knowledge around all things Las Vegas.

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