From the Press of Atlantic City:
Southern New Jersey hasn’t been spared from the wave of foreclosures in the U.S.
But the character of foreclosures might be a little different here compared with those elsewhere because a significant number of properties are second homes.
Anecdotal evidence suggests second homes make up a significant part of the foreclosures along the shore, where barrier islands are mostly covered with housing that’s not occupied year-round.
In a way, a foreclosure on second home is less distressing, since it usually means someone well-off is losing an investment, vacation or retirement property, rather than someone losing their primary residence. But there was no way to put a number on how many foreclosures might be in that non-primary market.
Sure enough, RealtyTrac’s figures show an unusually large percentage of owner-absent properties among shore homes with a foreclosure filing.
In Atlantic and Cape May counties, 36 percent of properties in foreclosure last month were owned by people living elsewhere.
31 percent, and Ocean County, with 20 percent, fit the national pattern of about 30 percent of owners of foreclosed homes living elsewhere, RealtyTrac said.
Given the dominance of second homes, and the paucity of year-round rentals, my guess is that one-fifth to one-third of the foreclosures in Atlantic and Cape May counties are second homes.
RealtyTrac began delving into the number of foreclosures of rental properties because renters can be caught off guard and dispossessed by a foreclosure in many states, according to Daren Blomquist, spokesman for RealtyTrac.
“They could get an eviction without much notice. … They possibly could lose their security deposit,” Blomquist said. “They may have no knowledge of the foreclosure until they get a knock on the door.”