From the Star Ledger:
The number of homes entering the foreclosure process in New Jersey dipped in April as the pace of bank repossessions spiked, a new report shows, following a national trend that a housing expert said represents a “continuation of the clean-up phase of the last housing crisis.”
Nearly 1,680 foreclosures were completed in New Jersey in April, a 375 percent increase over a year ago and a nearly 108 percent jump from March, the RealtyTrac report found. Foreclosure starts in the state fell roughly 20 percent from a year ago to more than 2,650 in April and dropped nearly 38 percent from March.
Nationally, bank repossessions increased 50 percent in April from a year ago and 25 percent from March and foreclosure starts dropped 5 percent from a year ago and 3 percent from March, according to the report from the Irvine, Calif.-based firm.
Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said the increase in bank repossessions in April was foreshadowed by a 23-month high in scheduled foreclosure auctions last October.
“Many of those scheduled auctions are now taking place, and properties are going back to the foreclosing lender,” Blomquist said in a statement. “Meanwhile we continue to see foreclosure starts decrease, and foreclosure starts nationwide are now running consistently below pre-crisis levels — indicating that the overall increase in foreclosure activity in April is a continuation of the clean-up phase of the last housing crisis, not the start of a new crisis.”
New Jersey’s foreclosure rate still ranked among the top in the nation, the report also found, with a filing on one in every 594 housing units.
The Atlantic City region also posted the highest foreclosure rate in the nation among metropolitan areas with a population of at least 200,000. One in every 297 properties in the area had a foreclosure filing, according to the report.