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Filling the Void: Number of Vacant Properties Reduces

Foreclosure Four BHNearly 1.4 million U.S. residential properties representing 1.6 percent of all residential properties were vacant as of the end of the third quarter according to the Q3 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report released by ATTOM Data Solutions, parent company to RealtyTrac. It was also reported that the number of vacant properties decreased 3 percent from the previous quarter and was down 9 percent from a year ago.

The report states that ATTOM Data Solutions analyzes publicly recorded real estate data collected by the company, including foreclosure status, equity, and owner-occupancy status, and matches the data against monthly updated vacancy data from the U.S. Postal Service.

As of the end of the third quarter, the report states that 18,304 U.S. residential properties actively in the foreclosure process were vacant. This represents 4.7 percent of all residential properties in foreclosure. In addition, the number of zombie foreclosures decreased 5 percent from the previous quarter as well as decreased 9 percent from Q3 2015.

It was also noted that there were 46,604 vacant bank-owned residential properties as of the end of the third quarter. This was a reported increase of 7 percent from the previous quarter and up 67 percent from Q3 2015.

“A strong seller’s market along with political pressure has likely motivated lenders to complete the foreclosure process over the past year on many vacant properties that were lingering in foreclosure limbo for years,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “While that has reduced the number of vacant properties in the foreclosure process — so-called zombie foreclosures — it has also resulted in a corresponding rise in the number of vacant bank-owned homes. Assuming that the foreclosing lenders are maintaining these properties and paying the property taxes, they pose less of a threat to neighborhood quality than zombie foreclosures, but they still represent latent inventory in an inventory-starved housing market.”

The report says that the states with the most vacant REO properties as of the end of the third quarter were Florida with 5,880 properties, Michigan with 4,661 properties, Ohio with 3,585 properties, Illinois with 2,652 properties, and Georgia with 2,626 properties.

In addition, the report states that among 148 metropolitan statistical areas with at least 100,000 residential properties analyzed, those with the most vacant REOs were Detroit with 2,386 properties, Chicago with 2,379 properties, Miami with 1,880 properties, Philadelphia with 1,737 properties, and New York with 1,668 properties. The report notes that other metro areas in the top 10 for most vacant REOs were Baltimore with 1,649 properties, Atlanta with 1,573 properties, Tampa with 1,310 properties, Cleveland with 1,106 properties, and Flint, Michigan with 1,091 properties.

States with the most vacant foreclosures, or zombie properties, were New Jersey with 3,698 properties, New York with 3,556 properties, Florida with 2,528 properties, Illinois with 1,018 properties, and Ohio with 999 properties. The report also says that metro areas with the highest number of vacant foreclosures included New York with 3,590 properties, Philadelphia with 1,525 properties, Chicago with 783 properties, Miami with 694 properties, and Tampa with 603 properties.

A total of 1,035,813 U.S. residential investment properties were vacant as of the end of Q3 2016. This was 76.1 percent of all vacant properties nationwide and the report says that it represents 4.3 percent of all investment properties as well.

It was reported that states with highest investment property vacancy rate included Michigan at 10.3 percent, Indiana at 9.8 percent, Alabama at 6.9 percent, Mississippi at 6.6 percent, and Kansas at 6.5 percent.

ATTOM Data Solutions also included the metro areas with the highest investment property vacancy rate which included Flint, Michigan at 24.3 percent, Detroit at 12.6 percent, Youngstown, Ohio at 12.1 percent, South Bend, Indiana at 11.5 percent, and Indianapolis at 11.0 percent.

About Author: Kendall Baer

Kendall Baer is a Baylor University graduate with a degree in news editorial journalism and a minor in marketing. She is fluent in both English and Italian, and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Apart from her work as a journalist, she has also managed professional associations such as Association of Corporate Counsel, Commercial Real Estate Women, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and Project Management Institute for Association Management Consultants in Houston, Texas. Born and raised in Texas, Baer now works as the online editor for DS News.

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