New Jersey is number one again. I just wish we’d take first in a category that is positive for the state.

A couple of weeks ago a study showed that New Jersey is the #1 state in the country that people leave.  New Jersey just came in first again and again in a category that is not good for New Jerseyans.  Yesterday NJ 101.5 radio reported on an ATTOM Data Solutions study showing New Jersey’s rate of foreclosure was the highest among all 50 states and D.C. in 2018.

The study showed that New Jersey’s foreclosure activity is 1 in every 75 housing units compared to the national rate of 1 in every 215 housing units.  The report counted 47,619 homes in New Jersey with a foreclosure filing, default notice, scheduled auction or bank repossession.  At 1,162 days New Jersey also ranks among the states that take the longest time to move a foreclosure from start to finish the report finds.

“It’s really an economic story here in New Jersey that causes this to linger,” Jeffrey Otteau, president of Otteau Valuation Group in Matawan, told New Jersey 101.5. “New Jersey’s economic performance since the last recession has been one of the worst in the nation, with a lower recovery in jobs and in wages, which feeds into the foreclosure problem.”

As a result of a slower recovery, Otteau noted, home prices in New Jersey are still 9 percent lower than they were back in 2006 before the recession began. Nationally, home prices are up 17 percent since pre-recession days.  “Those who bought their homes just prior to the last recession may have mortgage balances which are higher than what those homes can be sold for today, and that also feeds into foreclosure,” he said.

Among 219 metropolitan statistical areas with a population of at least 200,000 that ATTOM Data Solutions studied those in New Jersey with the highest foreclosure rates in 2018 were Atlantic City (2.37 percent of housing units with a foreclosure filing) and Trenton (1.56 percent).   Philadelphia also topped the list (1.06 percent).

foreclosure

With a record percentage of people leaving the state and New Jersey leading the nation in homes in foreclosure you’d think Governor Murphy would be focused on stopping these trends by making New Jersey safer, more affordable and creating jobs in the state. Instead Murphy is focused on higher taxes, making New Jersey a sanctuary state (thankfully ICE continues to protect New Jerseyans), funding the legal defense of illegal immigrants facing detention or deportation,  driver licenses for illegal immigrants (including Real ID compliant driver licenses allowing the recipient to board an airplane), legalized marijuana, a $15 minimum wage, defying the Trump Administration, ineffective gun control measures (that did not save the life John Bertram killed while working an overnight shift at an Edison gas station in December), pushing Obamacare (failed legislation that has been ruled unconstitutional by a Federal Court) and a health insurance mandate (because the Governor apparently thinks he’s more powerful than Congress), criminal justice reform, restoring voting rights for those on probation or parole, redistricting, subsidizing the horse racing industry and spending his time outside of New Jersey leading the Democratic Governor’s Association (OK – maybe this one is a positive.  Any day Murphy spends not focused on destroying New Jersey is a good day).

New Jerseyans are left wondering how any of Murphy’s priorities are going to make New Jersey affordable, create jobs, make New Jersey more business friendly, safer, lower their property taxes, stop a record number of people from leaving the state, increase their property values or any of the other things that are important to them.  The answer is he is not.  I predict that when Murphy is done with us the people of New Jersey will envy the people of Detroit.

You can’t blame me.  When Murphy and his family went to Africa for their Christmas vacation I begged the people of Tanzania to keep Murphy and make him their leader.

Murphy is wrong for New Jersey and does not understand the needs of hard working law abiding New Jerseyans.  Now more than ever the New Jersey legislature needs to be balanced with strong Republicans who will oppose Murphy and put the priorities of tax paying New Jerseyans first.  Murphy as Governor and an almost one party Democratic system is not working for New Jersey.

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