Key Takeaways:

  • NYC records 1,620 first-time foreclosures in 2023 to surpass 1,000 cases for first time in 4 years
  • Citywide lis pendens inch up just 5% year-over-year, slowed by Brooklyn and Manhattan
  • Manhattan becomes first borough to surpass pre-pandemic foreclosure incidences as 2023 logs 13 more cases than 2019
  • Queens remains most active foreclosure market, accounts for 39% of NYC’s first-time cases
  • Brooklyn claims city’s foreclosure epicenter as zip 11220 concentrates 68 unique cases
  • Staten Island foreclosures grow 26% year-over-year — the slowest pace among the 5 boroughs
  • The Bronx marks sharpest increase in pre-foreclosure filings as lis pendens jump 93% year-over-year

NYC Foreclosures Jump 87% in 2023, but Record Only Half the Caseload of 2019

Two years after the expiration of the foreclosure moratorium, the NYC foreclosure market remains well below pandemic levels: 2023 recorded 1,620 cases, representing 47% fewer incidences than in 2019.

Although year-over-year (Y-o-Y) growth stood at 87% and 2023 foreclosures reached four-digit totals for the first time since 2019, it’s unlikely that cases will surge to pre-pandemic levels in the near future considering the muted growth in lis pendens filings. Specifically, there were 4,935 NYC pre-foreclosures in 2023 — just 5% more than in 2022. On top of that, the last two quarters of 2023 both logged fewer pre-foreclosures than the same period in 2022, with Q4 2023 pre-foreclosures coming in 22% below Q4 2022 totals.

Furthermore, foreclosure increases also slowed quarter-over-quarter since the start of 2023. So, while Q1 2023 logged 29% more cases than the last three months of 2022, Q2 2023 actually saw cases tick down 3%. It was followed by an 18% increase in Q3, with Q4 inching up just 7% compared to the previous quarter.

Consequently, the 459 cases logged in Q4 2023 represented the highest number of first-time foreclosure filings in 15 quarters, and remained at a significant distance from the 620 first-time filings logged in Q4 2019.

At the borough level, Queens remained the borough with the highest number of foreclosures with 631 unique cases. However, Queens’ outsized influence on citywide foreclosure trends was muted by a surge in cases in Brooklyn. So, while Queens accounted for half of NYC’s foreclosures in 2022 and Brooklyn for one-fifth, Queens claimed just 39% of citywide cases in 2023, with Brooklyn originating 33%.

The Bronx remained the slowest foreclosure market in the city: Its 82 first-time filings accounted for only 5% of the city’s foreclosure volume. Meanwhile, Manhattan closed the gap between it and Staten Island by logging 11% of citywide cases, just behind the 12% logged in Staten Island. For comparison, last year, Manhattan represented 7% of cases, while Staten Island had 18%.

Manhattan Foreclosures Surpass 2019 Figures Due to 170% Y-o-Y Jump  

Totaling 170 unique foreclosure cases in 2023, Manhattan was the only borough to surpass pre-pandemic foreclosure incidences in the last four years. Specifically, the borough recorded 151 first-time filings in 2019 and 107 in 2018. So, while Manhattan foreclosures in 2022 were still 58% lower than in 2019, in 2023, the borough recorded a 13% increase over 2019 figures.

Granted, Manhattan becoming the first borough not only to reach, but also to surpass pre-2020 foreclosure activity may not be too surprising as cases here were the closest to pre-pandemic levels out of all five boroughs in 2022. On top of that, first-time filings here surged 170% Y-o-Y — the second-sharpest increase among the five boroughs.

It’s worth noting that, Manhattan pre-foreclosures actually logged an 8% Y-o-Y decrease: The borough totaled 296 lis pendens last year compared to the 321 recorded in 2022. Brooklyn was the only other borough where pre-foreclosures trended down, although its lis pendens decreased 17% Y-o-Y.

As for Manhattan’s 2023 foreclosure hotspot, it was located in zip 10022, which covers parts of Midtown East, Sutton Place and Turtle Bay. More precisely, the 10022 region was the setting for 24 foreclosures, or 14% of Manhattan’s total.  

Queens Remains Most Active Market, Claims 2 in 5 NYC Foreclosures in 2023

Yet again, Queens was the city’s most active foreclosure market with 631 first-time cases — 45% more than in 2022. Moreover, the borough’s foreclosure hotspot in 2023 also recorded more cases than its 2022 epicenter: Last year, zip 11373 in Elmhurst was the setting for 50 unique cases, while there were 37 unique cases in 2022 in zip 11434, which is an area that includes parts of Jamaica, Rochdale and Springfield Gardens.

Queens foreclosures also accounted for 39% of the city’s overall numbers. Despite being a significant share, it was still noticeably lower than the 47% it represented in 2022. However, foreclosure activity in Queens was still at half speed (-46%) compared to 2019.

Queens pre-foreclosures also rose, albeit at a more muted pace of 9% Y-o-Y to total 1,118 filings in 2022. Nevertheless, that represented a mere 38% of the borough’s 2019 figures and also suggests that foreclosure cases here are not likely to surge back to pre-2020 levels in the near future.

Brooklyn Foreclosure Market Heats Up With 201% Y-o-Y Case Surge 

While Brooklyn also had the second-highest number of foreclosures in 2022, it significantly reduced the gap in 2023 between it and Queens, which was the most active borough in the city. In particular, Brooklyn had 541 unique foreclosure cases last year and Queens had 631, whereas Brooklyn totaled 180 cases in 2022 and Queens finished with 434. Thus, Brooklyn foreclosures accounted for 30% of NYC’s cases last year as compared to 21% in the year prior.

The Brooklyn foreclosure market truly heated up in 2023 and underwent a 201% Y-o-Y surge — the sharpest increase among the five boroughs. As a result, Brooklyn’s foreclosure activity was only 33% slower than in 2019, making it the second-closest borough to its pre-pandemic foreclosure numbers. Only Manhattan was closer to pre-2020 figures.

Even so, Brooklyn’s foreclosure acceleration was particularly fueled by the market’s performance in the third and fourth quarters of last year, when quarterly totals reached triple digits for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, in Q4 2023, Brooklyn saw 199 foreclosures, which was 169% more than the last quarter of 2022. Notably, 27% of Brooklyn’s Q4 foreclosures were concentrated in one building: 702 44th Street, which had been severely impacted by a structural fire back in mid-2019.

Conversely, Brooklyn pre-foreclosures were down 17% Y-o-Y in 2023, marking the strongest slowdown in lis pendens filings among the five boroughs. Specifically, the borough recorded 1,943 pre-foreclosures last year compared to 2,327 in 2022. This slowdown was driven by the drastic year-over-year drops in filings in the second and fourth quarters of last year: Q4 2023 recorded 39% fewer lis pendens than the same period in 2022.

Accordingly, the decrease in Brooklyn pre-foreclosures also slowed citywide pre-foreclosure growth, thereby contributing to its slowdown: NYC lis pendens inched up just 5% Y-o-Y in 2023 compared to the 35% Y-o-Y increase logged in 2022.

As for the borough’s foreclosure hotspot, that was claimed by zip 11220, which covers parts of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Sunset Park. What’s more, 11220 was the zip code with the highest number of foreclosures in the entire city with 68 unique cases.

Staten Island Foreclosures Grow at Muted Pace, but Lis Pendens Surpass Queens Figures 

Logging 196 unique foreclosure cases in 2023, Staten Island had the lowest case growth among the five boroughs, coming in just 26% higher than 2022 figures. In fact, that sluggish increase brought Staten Island foreclosures to just 35% of its 2019 levels, with only Bronx figures finishing lower at 22%. For context, in 2022, Brooklyn was further away from pre-pandemic figures than Staten Island.

Staten Island also stood out when it came to foreclosure clusters. Specifically, zip 10314 in Mid-Island had the borough’s largest number of foreclosures with 40 unique cases and thus accounted for 20% of Staten Island’s annual caseload — the highest share in the five boroughs.

In terms of pre-foreclosures in Staten Island, there were 1,154 lis pendens recorded — nearly half as many as in 2022. As a matter of fact, the 47% Y-o-Y jump was the second-sharpest pre-foreclosure increase in the city, surpassed only by the Bronx. Not only that, but the borough actually logged more pre-foreclosure filings (36) than Queens. Only Brooklyn’s pre-foreclosure sector (1,943 cases) was more active than that of Staten Island.

Bronx Still Least Active Foreclosure Market, Despite Triple-Digit Growth Rates

The Bronx was still the slowest foreclosure market in NYC, totaling 82 unique cases in 2023 — just 5% of the city’s caseload. And, while foreclosure incidences here accelerated 141% Y-o-Y, the Bronx remained the furthest borough from pre-pandemic levels of foreclosure activity with its 2023 totals representing just 22% of its 2019 figures. It also must be noted that the Bronx’s 141% growth in foreclosure filings translated to an increase of just 48 cases.

Although lis pendens in the Bronx were the furthest from pre-pandemic figures, as well (reaching just 34% of 2019 levels), the borough actually stood out in terms of pre-foreclosure gains. To be precise, the Bronx recorded the sharpest increase in pre-foreclosure activity in 2023 with a 93% Y-o-Y jump. Much of that was driven by the third and fourth quarter’s surge in lis pendens filings: For instance, Q4 2023 figures were a staggering 652% higher than they were in Q4 2022.

In terms of foreclosure clusters, the Bronx actually saw two zip codes tie with 13 cases each — 10462 and 10463. The latter includes parts of Kingsbridge, Marble Hill, Riverdale, and Spuyten Duyvil, while the former covers areas of Bronx Park, Bronxdale, Morris Park, Union Port, Parkchester, Van Nest and Westchester Village. Together, the two zip codes accounted for nearly one-third of Bronx foreclosures in 2023.

Methodology

Having tracked foreclosure listings for more than a decade, PropertyShark is the only service in New York that guarantees 100% coverage of the local foreclosure market. Because auctions are frequently postponed and/or rescheduled, the statistics referenced in this report include only first-time foreclosures in order to avoid over-reporting the number of distressed properties in the city.

Separately, we also report on lis pendens (pre-foreclosure) filings — legal notices that mark the beginning of the foreclosure process.

This report focuses exclusively on residential properties (single- and two-family homes; condos; and co-op units) that were scheduled for auction for the first time in 2023.

Pre-foreclosure data refers to unique properties that had at least one lis pendens filing in 2023, which may be a first-time filing or a refiling. The same building class restrictions apply, excluding co-ops. If more than three units were referenced on the same lis pendens filing, they were excluded in order to avoid accounting for entire buildings.

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss

Eliza Theiss is a senior writer reporting real estate trends in the US. Her work has been cited by CBS News, Curbed, The Los Angeles Times, and Forbes among others. With an academic background in journalism, Eliza has been covering real estate since 2012. Before joining PropertyShark, Eliza was an associate editor at Multi-Housing News and Commercial Property Executive. Eliza writes for both PropertyShark and CommercialEdge. Reach her at [email protected]