Fewer ‘Zombie’ Homes Haunt Neighborhoods

This Halloween, you may be less spooked as fewer “zombies” are out in real estate. The number of zombie preforeclosure properties has plunged 22 percent from a year ago.

A zombie home is a property that is in foreclosure limbo. The foreclosure process has begun for the home, but it has not yet been repossessed by the foreclosing lender. About 14,312 properties at the end of the third quarter are considered zombies, according to ATTOM Data Solution’s 2017 U.S. Residential Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report. That is 67 percent below the peak of 44,030 in the third quarter of 2013.

“Zombie foreclosures have dwindled dramatically over the last four years as a supply-starved housing has soaked up even some of the most highly distressed properties,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “There are still pockets of the country with high zombie foreclosure rates, and high vacant property rates in general, primarily in the Rust Belt and parts of the Northeast and Southeast—driven in large part by a high share of non-owner–occupied vacant properties in those areas.”

Zombie foreclosures are most prevalent in New York (3,528), New Jersey (2,261), Florida (1,963), Illinois (999), and Ohio (974).

On a metro level, the areas with the most vacant zombie foreclosures are: New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y.-N.J.-Pa. (3,106); Philadelphia (813), Chicago (665), Miami (571), and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Fla. (477). Researchers analyzed 149 metro areas that had at least 100,000 residential properties for the study.

Source: “The Vacant Distressed,” ATTOM Data Solutions (Oct. 24, 2017)