From the Press of Atlantic City:
To Dan Boddy, a veteran real estate agent based in Galloway Township, mortgage foreclosures aren’t just a key part of the Atlantic County housing market.
“They’re the dominant factor. That’s what’s selling,” says Boddy, of Century 21 Frick Realtors in Galloway. “I was talking to a local title company a few months back, and they said that was about half their business now.”
Atlantic County ended 2016 with the distinction of leading the nation in foreclosure activity, the third straight year the county held that dreaded position, according to ATTOM Data Solution, whose RealtyTrac division publishes national foreclosure figures dating to 2006.
The company reported last week that 3.39 percent of Atlantic County’s housing units were in some stage of foreclosure activity, meaning the owners had received notices of default, auctions were scheduled or banks have taken the properties back.
That translates to one house out of every 30 in the county, according to ATTOM.
Other South Jersey counties have high foreclosure-activity rates of their own, including Cumberland, where almost 2.7 percent of homes are in some stage of the process; Ocean County, at 1.86 percent; and Cape May, at 1.3 percent.
And New Jersey itself had the highest rate in the country last year, at 1.86 percent of all homes with some foreclosure activity.
The state also led the U.S. in the number of “legacy” foreclosures, according to ATTOM, meaning the loans date to between 2004 and 2008. Plus New Jersey had the second-longest average foreclosure process in the country, at an average of 1,383 days, or almost four years from start to finish.