Real Estate Weekly
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Banking and Finance

Over 1.5 million single-family homes and condos are vacant, report finds

ATTOM Data Solutions, has released its Q3 2019 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showing there are over 1.5 million (1,530,563) U.S. single-family homes and condos vacant in the third quarter of 2019, representing 1.6 percent of all homes.

 The report analyzes publicly recorded real estate data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions — including foreclosure status, equity, and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data. During the third quarter of 2019, over 304,000 homes were in the process of foreclosure, with about 3.2 percent being “zombie” foreclosures. While the count of properties in the process of foreclosure is down by nearly 22 percent since ATTOM’s last foreclosure vacancy report in the same period of 2016, the number that sits empty has dropped nearly in half.

 “The blight of vacant, decaying properties facing foreclosure has declined dramatically across the United States – another good-news offshoot of the housing boom that’s gone on for eight years,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “A handful of areas still face notable problems with homes abandoned by owners after they get hit with foreclosure claims. But with the economy improving and the housing market still hot, an expanding number of neighborhoods across the country face little or no problem with these so-called zombie properties.”

 High-level findings from the report:

 •  A total of 9,612 properties facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide. Washington, D.C. had the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures (12.5 percent). States where the rates were above the national average of 3.2 percent included Oregon (8.8 percent), Maine (8.5 percent), Kansas (7.6 percent) and New Mexico (7.0 percent). The lowest rates – all less than 1.4 percent – were in New Hampshire, Idaho, Colorado, Connecticut and Delaware.

 • New York had the highest actual number of zombie properties (2,428), followed by Florida (1,634), Illinois (985), Ohio (891) and New Jersey (463).

• Among zip codes with at least 100 properties in pre-foreclosure, the highest rates of owner-vacated properties were concentrated in New York, Florida, Ohio and Illinois.  

• The top zombie foreclosure rates in counties with at least 500 properties in foreclosure included Peoria County, IL (21.9 percent); Baltimore City, MD (11.4 percent); Broome County, NY (11.1 percent); Onondaga County, NY (9.6 percent) and Madison County, IL (9.6 percent).

 • The highest levels of vacant investor-owned properties were in Indiana (8.8 percent), Kansas (6.7 percent), Minnesota (6.0 percent), Ohio, (5.9 percent) and Rhode Island (5.8 percent).

ATTOM Data Solutions analyzed county tax assessor data for more than 98 million single-family homes and condos for vacancy, broken down by foreclosure status and, owner-occupancy status. Only metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 single-family homes and condos and counties with at least 50,000 single-family homes and condos were included in the analysis.  

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