New Jersey is in the lower 50 percent of foreclosure auctions in the nation, and Cape May County ranked lowest in the month of May in the state.

The May report, which compares year over year, is an anomaly for Cape May County numbers and overall in relation to the past few months, said Daren Blomquist, vice president of California-based RealtyTrac.

Foreclosure auctions in the past few months have sharply increased as a result of the resolution of a legal issue over filing methods in the state.

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Since then, Blomquist said, a sort of second wave of foreclosure auctions is occurring, and the effect can be seen in South Jersey.

Atlantic County saw the greatest increase in the region, with 88 homes auctioned in May 2013, compared with just 15 in 2012 - a 487 percent increase, he said. Cumberland increased to 13, from nine last year. Cape May was the only county in the region to decrease, from 13 last year to only one auction this May.

The results for Cape May County are an anomaly, though, Blomquist said. The previous months matched spikes similar to the rest of the counties.

When the foreclosure wave was first hitting, between 2008 and 2010, the southern counties saw more than 100 auction listings per month, Blomquist said.

"Currently, it's reported that approximately 12 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages - more than one out of five homes with a mortgage," said Dana Kaufman, of Nebraska-based "Of course, the market isn't just flooded with foreclosures. There are also mountains of trophy properties, bare land, and commercial and residential properties for sale across the country."

Real estate agencies and professionals are using auctions because of the sheer number of available properties, she said.

"We continue to see increases in our real estate segment with the number of auctions, buyers and online winning bidders, and we expect that trend to continue," Kaufman said.

"Buyers prefer online auctions for many reasons - the convenience of buying from anywhere, the anonymity it provides to investors and equity groups, the ability to make multiple purchases in multiple auctions at the same time. Consumers are busy, and we offer a convenient way to make transactions. That won't change," Kaufman said.

Most auctions today have an online component or are only online. She said online auctions are the fastest growing segment of the business.

The National Association of Realtors says international buyers represent about 27 percent of U.S. real estate buyers, but Kaufman said buyers on her website tend to be domestic.

Contact Anjalee Khemlani:


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