Where ‘Zombie’ Foreclosures Are Still Problematic

August 15, 2019

There are fewer properties stuck in foreclosure limbo, with a few notable exceptions across the country. During the third quarter, more than 1.5 million single-family homes and condos were vacant, comprising 1.6% of all homes, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q3 2019 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report.

Properties in the foreclosure process are down nearly 22% since 2016.

“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,” says 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.”

Zombie foreclosures refer to properties that have been vacated by homeowners prior to the foreclosure being completed, which then leaves the home in limbo. About 9,612 properties that are facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide, according to the report.

The states with the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures are:

  1. Washington, D.C. (12.5%)
  2. Oregon (8.8%)
  3. Maine (8.5%)
  4. Kansas (7.6%)
  5. New Mexico (7%)

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).

By metro area (with at least 100,000 residential properties), the areas with the highest percentage of vacant foreclosures are:

  1. Peoria, Ill. (16.5%)
  2. Wichita, Kan. (9.5%)
  3. Syracuse, N.Y. (9.2%)
  4. Honolulu (8.5%)
  5. Youngstown, Ohio (8.4%)

On the other hand, the states with the lowest rates of zombie foreclosures, all less than 1.4%, are:

  1. New Hampshire
  2. Idaho
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Delaware