Foreclosure rate of vacant, zombie homes on a downswing in Q3

Only “a handful of areas” still face problems with zombie homes, expert says

Foreclosure rate of vacant, zombie homes on a downswing in Q3

The number of vacant US single-family homes and condos has declined by nearly half, with zombie foreclosures dropping significantly.

Vacant properties in the United States totaled 1,530,563, according to the results of ATTOM Data Solutions’ Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report. The figure represents 1.6% of all homes.

Meanwhile, more than 304,000 homes faced foreclosure in Q3 2019, and 3.2% of these properties were in the process of "zombie" foreclosures. Owners have abandoned over 9,600 zombie homes nationwide.

"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 ATTOM Chief Product Officer Todd Teta.

Washington, D.C., had the highest share of zombie foreclosures (12.5%). Maine (8.5%), Kansas (7.6%), and New Mexico (7%) rounded out the list of the states with the greatest number of homes facing foreclosure.

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

"A handful of areas still face notable problems with homes abandoned by owners after they get hit with foreclosure claims," Teta said. "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."