From the Jersey Journal:
The subprime mortgage crisis has not hit Hudson County as hard as other parts of the state, but analysts say there could be more pain – and more foreclosures – in the near future.
According to a report released earlier this month by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, New Jersey had the fifth highest ratio in the country of subprime mortgages in some stage of foreclosure as of June – three out of every 1,000 housing units.
udson’s ratio is slightly lower than the state’s, but the county ranks fifth in absolute number of subprime mortgages in foreclosure with 695, or 6.7 percent of the statewide total, the report said. Essex and Union counties account for a combined 25 percent of the subprime-related foreclosures.
Subprime mortgages, typically given to borrowers with poor credit histories, carry adjustable rates that can lead to rapidly escalating payments.
The Fed’s study found that most foreclosures are clustered in low-income neighborhoods. That’s no surprise to Emad Nairooz, a broker with Top Quality Realty, a Jersey City real estate company that specializes in foreclosed properties.
“In my opinion, in Hudson County the area that is getting hit bad is Jersey City in the Greenville area,” Nairooz said. “And it’s growing like crazy.”
Nairooz said that one typical Greenville property, a three-family home that was purchased for $400,000 at the end of 2006, now can’t find a buyer at an asking price that is less than $140,000.
RealtyTrac, a company that tracks foreclosures across the country, reported this week that there were 4,622 filings in New Jersey in July, 11.2 percent more than a year ago. There was an 8 percent increase nationwide.
Meanwhile, foreclosure sales conducted by the Sheriff’s Office jumped from fewer than 200 from January to July in 2007 to 519 over the same period this year, according to spokesman Bob Knapp.
Still, Jeff Kaplowitz, an agent with Century 21 Plaza Realty in Jersey City and former chairman of the Jersey City Planning Board, says the worst may not have arrived.
“We’re not being affected that greatly,” he said, adding that the local housing market could dive early next year because of layoffs in the financial industry.
“As New York City goes, we will go,” Kaplowitz said. “All those brokers who get 40 to 100 percent bonuses in December and January won’t have that disposable income, and that will ripple through the New York economy.”