Key Takeaways:

  • NYC totaled 867 first-time foreclosures in 2022 — just a few more than in the first 16 weeks of 2020
  • City-wide lis pendens were up 35% year-over-year, but still nearly 72% lower than in 2019
  • Of the five boroughs, Manhattan’s pre-foreclosure filings were closest to pre-pandemic figures, with only 55% fewer instances
  • Queens was the setting for half of NYC’s foreclosure cases in 2022
  • Brooklyn had fewer foreclosure filings in all of 2022 than during just the first four months of 2020
  • The Bronx had a mere 34 foreclosure cases, just 9% of the borough’s 2019 caseload
  • Staten Island lis pendens surged 84% over 2021’s depressed figures
  • Zip code 11434 in Queens claimed the highest concentration of foreclosures with 37 in 2022

Last year began with the end of the foreclosure moratorium, allowing foreclosures and pre-foreclosures to be filed again after nearly seven quarters of suspended activity. However, following in the footsteps of 2020 and 2021, the NYC foreclosure sector had yet another atypical year in 2022.

And, after the prolonged suspension of foreclosures and just a fraction of pre-pandemic pre-foreclosure filings, year-over-year comparisons between 2022 and 2021 resulted in wildly artificially inflated metrics. Consequently, for year-over-year comparisons, we opted to parallel 2022 with 2019 (the last pre-pandemic year) in most situations.

Notably, while foreclosure incidences increased in the first three quarters of the year, the last three months of 2022 logged fewer cases than Q3. Whether that tapering was merely a seasonal glitch or an indicator of what to expect in the near future remains to be seen. But, considering that NYC pre-foreclosure filings also remained well below pre-pandemic levels, foreclosure activity in the city is likely to remain sluggish for another two to three quarters.

NYC Records 28% of 2019’s Total Foreclosure Cases in 2022

As the foreclosure moratorium was lifted, filings slowly returned in 2022 to reach a total of 867 cases by the end of the year. That was just a few cases more than the 826 filings logged in the first 16 weeks of 2020, before courts suspended activity. And, with the moratorium in place in 2021, the city had just a trickle of its usual caseload, with 82 foreclosures throughout the entire year.

So, for the most accurate analysis of the foreclosure sector’s recovery, we compared 2022 data and trends to 2019.  That comparison proved that the sector is far from returning to pre-pandemic levels, with 72% fewer foreclosures filed last year than the 3,060 cases logged in 2019.

Of the five boroughs, the Bronx was furthest from its pre-pandemic levels of activity: It totaled a mere 34 instances last year — a whopping 91% fewer than it had in 2019. Conversely, Manhattan was closest to its pre-pandemic levels of activity, although foreclosure filings here were still 58% below pre-pandemic figures.

Meanwhile, the highest concentration of foreclosures in 2022 was observed in Queens’ 11434 zip code. Covering parts of Jamaica, Rochdale and Springfield Gardens, zip 11434 totaled 37 cases in 2022 alone. At the other end of the spectrum stood the Bronx, where the zip with the highest concentration of foreclosures — 10468 in the Fordham and Knightsbridge Heights-Jerome Park area — had seven cases.

Similarly, pre-foreclosure activity also remained significantly below pre-pandemic levels. That said, recovery was more accentuated, with 2022 totaling half the caseload of 2019 — 4,680 versus 9,185. Once again, Manhattan was closest to its pre-pandemic figures in pre-foreclosures, as well, with only 24% fewer filings in 2022. And, again, the Bronx lagged furthest behind, reaching just 18% of its 2019 lis pendens.

Unlike foreclosures, lis pendens filings continued during the moratorium — although at a much lower rate. Specifically, 2020 totaled 2,580 lis pendens, while 2021 had 3,456. Thus, there were 35% more pre-foreclosures in 2022 than in 2021. However, Queens went against the grain: Even as the other four boroughs logged between 54% and 84% more lis pendens filings last year than in 2021, Queens pre-foreclosures were down 15% year-over-year (Y-o-Y).

Manhattan Regains 42% of Pre-Pandemic Foreclosure Activity

With 63 cases in 2022 and 151 in 2019, Manhattan foreclosures came closest to pre-pandemic levels of activity, coming in just 58% below 2019 figures and marking the sharpest return of activity among the five boroughs. That trend also held in terms of pre-foreclosures, with the borough totaling 321 filings for a 24% decrease compared to 2019. Compared to 2021, lis pendens were up 77% here.

As far as foreclosure clusters, Manhattan’s epicenter was zip code 10025, home to some of the most luxurious co-ops in the city. Covering parts of Manhattan Valley and Morningside Heights, this zip was home to 13 of the borough’s 63 cases.

Looking at Q4 2022 figures for a more granular breakdown of foreclosure trends in NYC, Manhattan had the most active quarter since Q1 2020. More precisely, it reached 28 cases, whereas Q1 2020 had 38. Moreover, when comparing Q4 2022 with Q3 2022, foreclosure incidences were up 87% — the sharpest quarter-over-quarter increase. For context, citywide cases were down 2% during the same timeframe.

Queens Pre-Foreclosures Down 15% Compared to 2021 Figures

Following Manhattan, Queens was the next-closest to its pre-pandemic levels. Here, last year’s 434 first-time foreclosures accounted for 47% of its 2019 cases. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Queens’ foreclosure caseload in 2022 equated to half of the 867 foreclosures filed across the entire city. Queens also had the zip code with the highest concentration of cases of all five boroughs: Zip 11434 totaled 37 filings throughout the year in parts of Jamaica, Rochdale and Springfield Gardens.

In fact, Queens’ outsized influence on NYC’s foreclosure metrics was also one of the main reasons why there was a downtick in case incidence citywide in Q4: Queens had 14% fewer foreclosures last quarter than it did in Q3, which contributed to the city’s 2% decrease during the same timeframe. Granted, similar trends in Staten Island were another factor.

In terms of lis pendens in Queens, the borough saw 65% fewer than in 2019 with 1,028 cases. What’s more, while all other boroughs totaled more pre-foreclosures last year than they did in 2021, Queens stood out with a decrease in filings of 15%.

2022 Brings Fewer Foreclosures to Brooklyn Than the First 16 Weeks of 2020

With 180 filings throughout 2022, foreclosures in Brooklyn were 78% below 2019 figures. Likewise, Q4 foreclosures were less than half of Q4 2019’s total, with 52% fewer cases.

Even so, the borough’s most active zip code for foreclosures witnessed 22 first-time filings: Zip 11234 — which covers parts of Flatlands, Mill Basin, Old Mill Basin, Georgetown, Bergen Beach and Marine Park — was Brooklyn’s foreclosure epicenter in 2022.

Brooklyn pre-foreclosures were also far from pre-pandemic levels in 2022, coming in 67% below 2019 figures. But, compared to 2021 pre-foreclosure levels, Brooklyn was on the upswing, with the borough gaining 54% Y-o-Y.

Similarly, foreclosures were also on the rise quarter-over-quarter, with Q4’s 74 cases representing a 25% increase over Q3 figures. Even so, 2022’s 180 cases were still outpaced by the 196 incidences recorded in the first 16 weeks of 2020.

The Bronx Logs Lowest Foreclosure Incidence in 2022 with Just 9% of 2019 Figures

Throughout 2022, the Bronx was the least-active foreclosure market among the five boroughs, with pre-foreclosure activity also muted. Specifically, there were only 34 foreclosures and 220 lis pendens filings in the borough in the entirety of 2022. While homeownership rates in the Bronx are the lowest in the city at around 20%, it still marks a whopping 91% decrease in Bronx foreclosures compared to 2019.

For comparison, there were nearly three times as many first-time filings in the first 16 weeks of 2020 as there were in all of 2022. Thus, it’s not surprising that the epicenter of foreclosures in the Bronx had the fewest cases among the five boroughs’ foreclosure hotspots: Zip code 10468 totaled just seven cases. For comparison, even Staten Island’s and Brooklyn’s largest clusters had 22 cases each.

Furthermore, the Bronx was the only borough where Q4 lis pendens were down compared to Q3 2022, with Bronx pre-foreclosure cases down 53% quarter-over-quarter. And, although foreclosures increased 26% quarter-over-quarter in the last three months of 2022, the Bronx still logged just 75% of the activity that its foreclosure market had in Q4 2019.

Mid-Island Finishes as Staten Island’s Foreclosure Hotspot in 2022

After reaching NYC’s second-highest foreclosure incidence in Q2 and Q3 of last year, Staten Island closed 2022 with 156 cases — the third-highest in the city. That also meant that the borough recorded 72% fewer cases last year than it did in 2019, while pre-foreclosures were 43% lower.

That said, its foreclosure hotspot — zip 10314 in Mid-Island — logged 22 cases. That number matched Brooklyn’s foreclosure supercluster and was also higher than the 13 in Manhattan’s epicenter.  

At a more granular level, the cool-down of Staten Island’s foreclosure market contributed to the 2% citywide decrease in filings observed in Q4 of last year. Specifically, cases dropped 29% quarter-over-quarter. Compared to the same timeframe in 2019, foreclosure activity in the borough was down 61%. And, although Staten Island lis pendens did not contract, Q4 2022 pre-foreclosures were up just 13% compared to Q4 2019.

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 2022.

Pre-foreclosure data refers to unique properties that had at least one lis pendens filing in Q3 2022, 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]