According to a report from ATTOM Data Solutions, over 1.5 million (1,530,563) U.S. single-family homes and condos are vacant, representing 1.6% of all homes. In total, the U.S. Census Bureau found that 17,019,726 homes were vacant in 2018. Compiling data from the Census Bureau’s most recent Community Survey, Stacker found which counties in every state have the highest concentration of vacant homes.
Counties with notably high percentage of vacant homes included Ashtabula County, located northeast of Cleveland. According to Stacker, 23.3% of total homes are vacant in this country, and Ohio holds one of the highest rates of zombie homes in the country, with a total of around 891 in the state. Around half of these vacant homes are in the Cleveland-Elyria metro area, with 431 homes. Additionally, the top two zip codes nationwide with the highest number of zombie properties (with at least 100 properties in pre-foreclosure) are Cleveland zip codes 44105 (57) and 44108 (54).
Some of the highest vacancy rates can be found in New Jersey. In Cape May County, New Jersey, 60.6% of total homes are unoccupied, however, nearly all are homes for seasonal or recreational use, as about half of the county’s residential real estate is vacation homes. New Jersey does still have some of the highest rates of zombie homes in the country, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. There are 463 zombie homes in New Jersey, and the 1,566 in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metro area.
New York, according to ATTOM, has the highest number of zombie properties, at 2,428, with many of these homes located in New York City. However, Jefferson County, located in northern New York state near the St. Lawrence River, holds the highest percentage of unoccupied homes. With 15,384 out of 60,041 homes, or 25.6%, of total homes unoccupied in Jefferson County. According to Stacker, the area has seen an exodus of residents, dampening demand and activity in its housing market. In 2017, Jefferson County suffered the second-most dramatic population decrease of 2.8% in the United States.