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Where Zombie Properties Are Accumulating

zombie homeA new report indicated that 1.6 percent of all homes in the U.S. are vacant, numbering 1,570,265 residential properties, with 7,960 or 3.7% of those vacant properties in the process of foreclosure, otherwise known as “zombie foreclosures.” 

That is according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ newly released Q3 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report 

The Company’s most recent vacant properties analysis showed that while the number of properties in the process of foreclosure (215,886) in Q3 2020 is down 16% from Q2 2020 (258,024), the percentage of those properties that have been abandoned as zombie foreclosures is up from 3% in Q2 2020. 

The report suggested that despite the increase, as the federal government attempts to shield the housing market from an economic slide stemming from the Coronavirus pandemic, the 7,961 zombie foreclosure properties continue to represent a very small portion – just one in every 12,500 homes – of the nation’s 99.4 million residential properties. 

According to ATTOM’s Q3 2020 vacant property and zombie foreclosure report, states where zombie-foreclosure rates exceed the national percentage are clustered in the Midwest and South. Those states include Kansas (15%, or one in seven, properties in the foreclosure process), Missouri (11.2%, or one in nine), Georgia (11%, or one in nine), Kentucky (10.7%, or one in nine) and Tennessee (10.3%, or one in 10). 

The analysis also reports that states where the rates fall below the national level are mainly in the Northeast and West. Those states include Utah (1.1%, or one in 87 properties in the foreclosure process), Idaho (1.2%, or one in 84), New Jersey (1.6%, or one in 62), Colorado (1.8%, or one in 56) and California (2%, or one in 50). 

Among 158 metro areas analyzed with at least 100,000 residential properties in Q3 2020, the highest zombie-foreclosure rates are in Peoria, IL (16.4% of properties in the foreclosure process); Wichita, KS (15.3%); Kansas City, MO (13.4%); Omaha, NE (12.7%) and Cleveland, OH (12.6%). 

More-detailed ratio-of-”zombie-foreclosures” data is included on the ATTOM website. 

In general, the recent ATTOM article deep dives into the company’s data to uncover the top 10 “zombie-fied” ZIP codes, which include: 

Those zips include 44108 in Cleveland, OH (44.1%, 63 zombies); 44112 in Cleveland, OH (34.8%, 47 zombies); 44105 in Cleveland, OH (27.6%, 48 zombies); 61604 in Peoria, IL (25.7%, 29 zombies); 13601 in Watertown, NY (20.8%, 27 zombies); 44128 in Cleveland, OH (18.0%, 23 zombies); 44120 – Cleveland, OH (17.6%, 23 zombies); 12078 in Gloversville, NY (17.4%, 19 zombies); 60419 in Dolton, IL (16.5%, 17 zombies); and 14701 in Jamestown, NY (15.7%, 24 zombies). 

The report's methodology is as follows: "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 residential properties and counties with at least 50,000 residential properties were included in the analysis."

About Author: Christina Hughes Babb

Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Contact Christina at christina.hughesbabb@thefivestar.com.

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