There were 1,861 foreclosure sales in New Jersey during the first quarter of 2011, representing 15.6 percent of all home sales in the state, according to a report from Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac, which tracks and sells foreclosure information.
The number of New Jersey foreclosure sales was down 47.6 percent from the first quarter of 2010, according to RealtyTrac.
Nationally, foreclosure sales declined by 35.8 percent, to 158,434 units, in the first quarter of 2011, accounting for 27.5 percent of all residential sales.
“While foreclosure sales continue to account for an unusually high percentage of all residential home sales, sales volume is well off the peak we saw in the first quarter of 2009, when nearly 350,000 foreclosure properties sold to third parties,” said RealtyTrac CEO James J. Saccacio. “While this is probably helping to keep home prices relatively stable, it is also delaying the housing recovery.”
“It’s difficult to compare New Jersey’s activity to the national activity, since the degree of distress in real estate in states like California and Nevada was disproportionately high,” said Patrick O’Keefe, director of economic research at Roseland-based J.H. Cohn. “But the state’s housing market has been contracting for the better part of five years, and still has a way to go.”
New Jersey’s foreclosure inventory stood at about 97,000 units at the end of March, based on data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, he added.
“Based on the most recent sales figures, that’s equivalent to about nine months of sales of purely foreclosure inventory,” O’Keefe said. “In fact that number may be understated because of the backlog of the foreclosure process in the courts.”