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Unhappy Homes

Biz BriefsResidential foreclosures in New Jersey rose for the fourth consecutive month in January, suggesting an underlying softness in the housing market. There were 184 new foreclosures, taking the total for the month to 407 when unsold foreclosed homes from prior months are added. The data was released by Foreclosure.com, a market research firm based in Boca Raton, Fla.

The latest level is about the same as in January 2005, when there were 180 foreclosures in the state. The question now is whether the housing market is trending towards higher delinquencies by homeowners. That would validate doomsayers who point to higher mortgage rates and decelerating home prices as signs of an overheated market about to cool off.