Though foreclosures are falling nationwide, Long Island remains a hotbed for distressed properties. Nassau and Suffolk counties combined for the third highest percentage of foreclosed homes in any major metropolitan market outside of Florida, according to a report released Tuesday by analytics firm CoreLogic.
The report found that 6.5 percent of all mortgaged homes on Long Island were in some stage of the foreclosure process in March 2013, compared to just 2.8 percent of all mortgaged homes nationwide and 5.0 percent statewide. In fact, New York State posted the third highest foreclosure rate in the United States, trailing only Florida and New Jersey.
Over the past two years, New York has maintained an elevated foreclosure rate in part because of the deliberate pace with which it processes distressed properties. CoreLogic has long noted that the state requires lenders to provide evidence in courts of delinquency, thereby elongating the foreclosure process. As a result, the effects of the housing crash are being absorbed over time, rather than all at once. (See CoreLogic's foreclosure map below.)
So while New York ranked in the top five in distressed properties, it placed 31st among states in the number of foreclosures processed over the 12 months ending in March, at 3,852. Of those, 715 were processed on Long Island, up from 689 for the 12 months ending in March 2012.
On the bright side, Long Island's foreclosure rate is down from the same period a year ago, when it stood at 6.8 percent. But that's a slower rate of decline than the nation as a whole, which had a 3.5 percent foreclosure rate in March 2012.
So while a 17th consecutive month of declining foreclosures is good news nationally and will help contribute to home price stability, if you subscribe to the belief that all real estate is local, then Long Island still has some work to do to get on solid footing.