Foreclosure is not at crisis status on Staten Island says James Prendamano, Manging Director for Casandra Properties

Even though New York State’s housing market is still plagued by high levels of foreclosure activity, realtors on Staten Island say that the crisis has missed the borough mainly due to the renaissance of the North Shore waterfront.

With Projects such as Empire Outlets and URL at Navy Pier, both represented by Casandra Properties, clearly underway, home values on the North Shore are climbing because more people want to liver there.

Last week, State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a report that concluded foreclosure filings across the state remain significantly higher than pre-recession levels.

“The foreclosure crisis is far from resolved, and there are still too many people losing their homes,” DiNapoli said. Filings against homeowners unable to make mortgage payments rose after the housing bubble burst in the 2008-2009 recession, according to the report. New cases nearly doubled over three years to 47,664 in 2009.

Since reaching a low of 16,655 in 2011, new filings climbed to 46,696 by 2013 before falling to 43,868 in 2014, still well above pre-recession levels, according to the report.

Of the more than 2,000 homes for sale on Staten Island that are listed with the Multiple Listings Service, only 42 are bank-owned properties, said Joan Camerlengo, broker/owner of Joan Camerlengo Realty in New Dorp.

“It’s a miniscule number. New York is a judicial state, which means you have to go through a whole court process to foreclose on a home, and it takes at least two years for that to happen,” she said.

However, foreclosures on Staten Island are bucking that trend. Many believe that it is because of better employment opportunities.

Said James Prendamano, managing director of the St. George based Cassandra Properties: “When you have a market like New York that is the epicenter of opportunity and jobs, the process is very different from other parts of the country, and other parts of the New York Metro area.”

“There’s more jobs here and more opportunities to make money here, so you don’t see that ghost town effect where people just pick up and leave their homes behind,” he added.

Another reason for the low rate of foreclosure in the borough is because many homeowners took advantage of the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) over the last few years.

Those homeowners who do find themselves in trouble have better options than to lose the house. They can work with their bank to reconfigure their mortgage so they can hang onto their home until the market changes in their favor. Once there is equity in the house, homeowners can work with qualified realtors to sell the home, pay off the mortgage and possibly have enough to reinvest into another property that is more affordable.