Key takeaways

  • Queens, with an 8% increase Y-o-Y, was the only borough to see an uptick in foreclosures:
  • Closing Q4 with 178 cases, Brooklyn saw a 6% Y-o-Y drop
  • The Bronx foreclosures plummeted 54%, with only 90 properties heading to auction in Q4
  • Staten Island first-time cases increased a whopping 269% quarter-over-quarter
  • Lis pendens cases contracted 16%, with 2113 notices registered Y-o-Y

Throughout 2018, New York City first-time foreclosure cases gradually decreased quarter-over-quarter, indicating that foreclosures are slowly stabilizing and are en route to pre-2017 levels. In Q4 2018, a total of 720 homes hit the auction block for the first time, a 14% year-over-year decrease. Lis pendens cases also dipped year-over-year by 16%.

Mirroring citywide trends, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island and The Bronx all saw contractions between -12% and -36% in the fourth quarter of 2018, while foreclosure activity in Queens increased by 8%.

With an 8% Increase, Queens is the Only Borough to See an Uptick in Foreclosures

At 252, Queens had the largest number of first-time foreclosure cases registered among the 5 boroughs in Q4 2018. With an 8% year-over-year uptick, Queens was also the only borough where foreclosures increased. However, the borough saw a 17% drop quarter-over-quarter.

The 11434 zip, encompassing Jamaica, South Jamaica, Hollis, and St. Albans had the most foreclosures in the borough: 21.

Brooklyn Closes Q4 with 178 First-Time Foreclosures

A total of 178 residential properties headed to the auction block in the fourth quarter of 2018 in Brooklyn, a 6% decrease year-over-year. Q4 had the least amount of foreclosures in the borough since the first quarter of 2017.

The most foreclosed properties (24) were registered in zip 11434.

The Bronx Sees a Massive 54% Drop in New Foreclosures Cases Y-o-Y

The borough had the steepest drop when it comes to residential foreclosures, the number of cases dropping to more than half compared to Q4 2017. Only 90 homes ended up being auctioned off between October and December 2018.

Quarter-over-quarter, The Bronx also registered the biggest decrease among the 5 boroughs: -36%

Staten Island First-Time Cases Surge 269% Quarter-Over-Quarter

Due to the very limited number of foreclosures that occurred in Q3 2018 in Staten Island, the borough saw a whopping 269% quarter-over-quarter increase. In Q3, there were only 48 cases registered, while in Q4 177 residential properties were auctioned off.

Year-over-year, Staten Island foreclosures dipped 4%.

The zip with the highest number of cases was 10312. All 28 properties were in South Island neighborhood.

Manhattan Foreclosures Down 18% Y-o-Y

With only 23 homes headed to the auction block in Q4 2018 and 28 in Q4 2017, the 18% drop isn’t that big of a change if considering relative numbers. Manhattan continues to remain stable in terms of foreclosures, with first-time cases constantly hovering around 20 and 30 over the last couple of quarters.

Lis Pendens are Dwindling as Well, In-Line with Foreclosure Trends

New York City pre-foreclosure cases contracted 16% year-over-year, with 2113 lis pendens notices registered in Q4 2018. Each borough saw decreases between -7% and -29%, except Manhattan, where pre-foreclosures had a 2% uptick.

The largest drop occurred in the Bronx (-29%), while most cases were registered in Queens (842).


Having tracked foreclosure listings for over a decade, PropertyShark is the only service in New York that guarantees 100% coverage of the local foreclosure market. The stats include only first-time foreclosures to avoid over-reporting the number of distressed properties in the city, as auctions are frequently postponed and rescheduled.

We report separately on lis pendens (pre-foreclosure) filings—legal notices which mark the beginning of the foreclosure process.

Our report focuses on residential properties (single- and two-family homes, condo, and co-op units) that were scheduled for auction for the first time in Q4 2018.

Pre-foreclosure data refers to unique properties that received at least one lis pendens filing in Q4 2018. This may be a first-time filing or a re-filing. The same building class restrictions apply, excluding co-ops. If more than 3 units were referenced on the same lis pendens filing, they were not counted at all in order to avoid counting entire buildings.

Robert Demeter

Robert Demeter

Robert is a copywriter at CommercialCafe and brings 3+ years of experience in commercial real estate. He previously worked as a copywriter at PropertyShark, as a senior associate editor at Commercial Property Executive and Multi-Housing News, and also wrote monthly market reports at Yardi Matrix.