Key Takeaways:

  • NYC foreclosures tick up 14% Y-o-Y for a total of 424 new cases
  • Manhattan marks first Y-o-Y decrease in first-time filings since Q1 2022
  • Queens supplies city’s foreclosure epicenter as zip 11377 totals 31 unique cases
  • Brooklyn foreclosures jump 57% Y-o-Y, reach 191 instances
  • Bronx case count highest in four years with 43 new filings
  • Staten Island closes slowest foreclosure quarter since late 2016 (excepting the timeframe of the foreclosure moratorium)

Q1 Foreclosures Up 14% Y-o-Y Citywide, but Lower Than Previous Two Quarters

With the ongoing housing crunch, high interest rates and overall cost of living crisis, the foreclosure sector is being closely monitored by industry and economic professionals, as well as the general public. While cases have increased across the country, the NYC foreclosure market is going somewhat against the grain — cases here rose a mere 14% year-over-year (Y-o-Y) and actually decreased 8% quarter-over-quarter (Q-o-Q). On top of that, the 424 foreclosures logged in the first quarter of the year represent only 62% of Q1 2020 levels.

2023 wrapped up with NYC foreclosures halfway to 2019 levels and marked the first time in four years that the city saw more than 1,000 cases, logging 1,620 first-time filings. While it’s too early to tell how the rest of 2024 will shape up for the foreclosure sector, the first quarter of the year closed with 424 individual first-time cases, coming in below last year’s Q3 and Q4 figures. Meanwhile, nationwide, the post-holiday period marked an uptick in filings.

Manhattan Cases Tick Down After Borough Was First to Reach Pre-COVID Figures

Manhattan was the first borough to reach pre-pandemic foreclosure volumes back in Q1 2023, while the rest of the city lagged significantly behind. As such, a slight correction in the borough is not surprising: Manhattan foreclosures ticked down 8% Y-o-Y, totaling 34 cases in the first three months of the year.  

also represented the lowest figure in five quarters for the borough and marked Manhattan as one of two boroughs where filings decreased Y-o-Y — joined by Staten Island. Coincidentally, the two boroughs also tied in terms of foreclosure clusters, with their most active areas logging six first-time filings each. Manhattan’s foreclosure hotspot was zip 10036, which covers parts of Clinton, Hell’s Kitchen, the Theatre District, Times Square and Central Midtown.

Queens Supplies Nearly Half of NYC’s Q1 Foreclosures

The Queens foreclosure market remained the city’s most active by a significant margin, accounting for 191 of the city’s 424 cases — an impressive 45% of NYC’s full volume. In fact, Queens’ Q1 caseload equaled the combined volume of first-time filings in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island.

The borough also claimed the city’s foreclosure epicenter again, with 31 individual first-time filings logged in zip 11377, which covers parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and South Astoria. For context, Queens’ most active zip for foreclosures for the entirety of 2023 — 11373 in Elmhurst — had a total of 50 cases.

Queens was also one of the two boroughs where the incidence of cases increased both Y-o-Y and Q-o-Q. Specifically, first-time foreclosures jumped 32% over Q4 2023 figures and climbed 12% over year-ago levels, marking the borough’s most active period in 16 quarters. However, the first three months of the year reached only 65% of Q1 2020 foreclosure cases.

Brooklyn Accounts for Almost One-Third of NYC Foreclosures

As is usually the case — both in pre-pandemic and post-2020 scenarios — Brooklyn was the city’s second most active foreclosure market, supplying 130 cases that represented 31% of the city’s caseload. Of this, 26 cases were clustered in just two zip codes, with 11203 in East Flatbush and 11208 in East New York each claiming 13 unique cases.

Brooklyn foreclosures followed NYC’s evolution in Q1, with filings increasing Y-o-Y, but trending down compared to Q4. Specifically, the borough logged a 57% jump in first-time foreclosures compared to Q1 2023, while also marking a 35% Q-o-Q drop. Similarly to Manhattan, Brooklyn’s Q1 figures were lower than those recorded in Q3 and Q4 of last year.

The Bronx Marks Sharpest Foreclosure Increase, but Remains Least Active of the Five Boroughs

Similarly to Queens, the Bronx also marked its most active period for foreclosures in 16 quarters, logging 43 unique cases in the first three months of 2024. That represented a case incidence increase of 72% Y-o-Y, the sharpest among the five boroughs. But Q-o-Q comparisons show an even more dramatic acceleration of 139% — easily the sharpest increase in the city, as only Queens logged a Q-o-Q increase and that was of just 32%.

Pre-pandemic, the Bronx foreclosure market was generally the city’s fourth most active, with Manhattan consistently logging fewer cases. However, since Q2 2020, the Bronx has been by far the least active in terms of foreclosures. Last year, the Bronx was still well below the foreclosure activity of other boroughs, including Manhattan, with the latter totaling more cases in six months (85) than the Bronx did throughout the entirety of 2023 (82).

Nevertheless, the borough’s foreclosure epicenter was only outpaced by Queens’ hotspot. Specifically, the borough’s most active area for foreclosures was zip 10451 — Mott Haven, Melrose and South Bronx — where 29 cases were filed, accounting for 67% of Bronx foreclosures in Q1.

Staten Island Foreclosures Lowest in More Than 7 Years

Although Staten Island foreclosures consistently outpaced Manhattan and the Bronx over the last seven quarters, Q1 sharply reversed that trend. In fact, the 26 first-time filings recorded in the first three months of the year represented the lowest figure since Q3 2016, excepting of course the period during which the foreclosure moratorium was in effect. That came as the fifth borough’s foreclosure caseload was more than halved Y-o-Y (-54%) and nearly halved Q-o-Q (-47%).

Meanwhile, its foreclosure hotspot equaled Manhattan’s with a total of six cases recorded in zip 10310, which covers parts of West Brighton, New Brighton, Randall Manor, Port Richmond and Castleton Corners.

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.

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 Q1 2024.

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]