October 31, 2012 – Superstorm Sandy’s brutal arrival Oct. 29 was the latest blow to homeowners in New Jersey (Aa3 – 646039SR9), where foreclosures continued to rise and real estate prices to fall after most of the U.S. housing market began to recover last year. The Atlantic storm claimed eight lives in New Jersey and drove 6,329 people to shelters. About 2.05 million residences and businesses, more than half of those in the state, were still without power at 2 p.m., according to the U.S. Energy Department. “New Jersey was a laggard before the storm even came along and the storm won’t help,” Sam Khater, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic Inc., a real-estate information service, said from his office in Tysons Corner, Virginia. New Jersey ranked second behind Florida in September among states with the highest inventories of homes facing foreclosure, CoreLogic reported yesterday. In the Garden State, 7.3 percent of homes with a mortgage were seriously delinquent or facing repossession, compared with 3.3 percent nationally. The New Jersey inventory was up 0.9 percentage points from a year earlier, the second-highest increase behind Maryland, while the U.S. rate dropped 0.2 percentage point, according to CoreLogic. In the 12 months through August, home prices fell 1.4 percent in New Jersey while across the U.S. they rose 4.6 percent, Irvine, California-based CoreLogic reported Oct. 2.