RealtyTrac’s U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report showed that 19,187 residential properties were zombie foreclosures in the second quarter – about 4.7% of all residential properties in foreclosure. The report also showed that nearly 1.4 million residential properties were vacant as of May – about 1.6% of all residential properties. That’s a 2.7% increase from the first quarter, according to RealtyTrac.
“Lenders have been taking advantage of the strong seller’s market to dispose of lingering foreclosure inventory over the past year, evidenced by 12 consecutive months of increasing bank repossessions ending in February and now evidenced by these numbers showing a sharp drop in vacant zombie foreclosures compared to a year ago,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “As these zombie foreclosures hit the market for sale they are providing a modicum of relief for the pressure cooker of escalating prices and deteriorating affordability that have defined the U.S. housing market in recent years.”
New Jersey had the most zombie foreclosures with 4,003, followed by New York (3,352), Florida (2,467), Illinois (1,074) and Ohio (1,064). Among states with at least 100 zombie foreclosures, Oregon had the highest zombie foreclosure rate at 11.8%, followed by Indiana (9.5%), Kentucky (8%), Maryland (7.2%) and Washington (6.6%).
Zombie foreclosures – residential properties in the foreclosure process that were vacant – dropped 30.1% in the second quarter from the year before, according to new data from RealtyTrac.