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Foreclosure Zombies Are Fading

abandoned zombie home

abandoned zombie homeAccording to the Q4 2019 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report from ATTOM Data Solutions, zombie properties have fallen to 2.96% of foreclosures, down from down from 3.2% in Q3 2019 and 4.7% in Q3 2016.

“The fourth quarter of 2019 was a repeat of the third quarter when it came to properties abandoned by owners facing foreclosure: the scourge continued to fade. One of the most visible signs of the housing market crash during the Great Recession keeps receding into the past,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “While pockets of zombie foreclosures remain, neighborhoods throughout the country are confronting fewer and fewer of the empty, decaying properties that were symbolic of the fallout from the housing market crash during the recession.”

Around 1.5 million (1,527,142) U.S. single family homes and condos were vacant in Q4, representing 1.5% of all U.S. homes. The highest percentage of zombie foreclosures were still in Washington, D.C., with 10.5% of foreclosures as zombie foreclosures. States where the zombie foreclosure rates were above the national rate of 2.9% included Kansas (7.9%), Oregon (7.9%), Montana (7.4%); Maine (6.7%) and New Mexico (5.8%), with the highest actual number of zombie properties in New York State (2,266). 

In response to the high number of zombie properties, New York received $500,000 in funding for a new team that will focus on cracking down on zombie properties that have been abandoned and are in foreclosure, according to PIX11 [1]. New York in 2016 was empowered by a zombie property law that requires financial institutions to inspect properties delinquent on foreclosures. The city’s first zombie team was created in 2017.

Falling right behind New York in zombie property volume is Florida (1,461), Illinois (892), Ohio (823) and New Jersey (398). However, ATTOM notes that these numbers have all fallen year over year.

The lowest rates of zombie foreclosures were in were in North Dakota, Arkansas, Idaho, Colorado and Delaware. These states all had rates below 1.2%.