Vacant “Zombie” Foreclosures Increase to 3.1 Percent Nationwide

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Overall Number of Vacant Properties in U.S. Down Slightly to 1.52 Million

 IRVINE, Calif. – February 27, 2020 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database and first property data provider of Data-as-a-Service (DaaS), today released its Q1 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showing that over 1.52 million U.S. single-family homes and condos are vacant, representing 1.5 percent of all homes.

The report analyzes publicly recorded real estate data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions — including foreclosure status, equity, and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data. (See full methodology enclosed below.) Vacancy data is available for more than 85 million U.S. residential properties at https://www.attomdata.com/solutions/marketing-lists/.

According to the report, about 282,800 homes are in the process of foreclosure, with about 8,700, or 3.1 percent sitting empty as “zombie” foreclosures. The percentage is up from 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, but still significantly less than 5.8 percent in the first quarter of 2014.

The total number of properties in the process of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2020 is down 1.9 percent from the fourth quarter of 2019, while the number vacant foreclosures is up 1.7 percent, meaning that the level of zombie properties rose while the count of foreclosures dipped. Since 2016, the number facing possible foreclosure is down 27 percent, while the tally of unoccupied properties in the foreclosure pipeline has declined 53 percent.

“Homes abandoned by owners facing a possible foreclosure remain little more than a blip on the radar across the country, as one of the main scourges of the Great Recession continues to show little or no signs of re-emerging,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “Even with the slight increase in these so-called ‘zombie foreclosures,’ so far this year, there are still pockets of distress with elevated numbers of abandoned homes. But in yet another reflection of how the national housing market is still booming, you can drive through many towns and not pass a single such property.”

 

High-level findings from the report:

  • A total of 8,678 homes nationwide are sitting empty as zombie foreclosures in the first quarter of 2020. States that had the greatest zombie foreclosure rate with 500 or more properties in the foreclosure process and 100 or more zombie foreclosures included Ohio (6.8 percent), Indiana (5.1 percent), Illinois (4.7 percent), Oklahoma (4.5 percent) and Maryland (4.3 percent).
  • New York continues to have the highest actual number of zombie properties (2,206), followed by Florida (1,390), Ohio (977), Illinois (943) and Pennsylvania (317).
  • Among metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residential properties, Peoria, IL, continues in the first quarter of 2020 to have the highest percent of zombie foreclosures at 12.7 percent, followed by Cleveland, OH (10.5 percent); Youngstown, OH (9.1 percent); Syracuse, NY (8.8 percent) and Knoxville, TN (8.8 percent).
  • Among major metro areas with at least 500,000 residential properties, the lowest zombie foreclosure rates are in San Francisco, CA (0.5 percent); Austin, TX (0.8 percent); Los Angeles, CA (1.1 percent); Boston, MA (1.3 percent) and Philadelphia, PA (1.4 percent).
  • The top zombie foreclosure rates in counties with at least 500 properties in foreclosure include Saint Clair County, IL (outside St. Louis, MO) (12.3 percent); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH (12 percent); Baltimore City/County, MD (10.4 percent); Pinellas County (Tampa-St. Petersburg), FL (9.8 percent) and Onondaga County (Syracuse), NY (9.5 percent).
  • Among zip codes with at least 100 properties in foreclosure, the highest rates of owner-vacated properties remain concentrated in New York, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. The zip codes with the top percentages are 44108, 44112 and 44105, all in Cleveland, OH; 13601 in Watertown, NY, and 61604 in Peoria, IL.
  • The highest levels of vacant investor-owned homes are in Indiana (8.4 percent), Kansas (6.5 percent), Ohio, (6 percent), Minnesota (5.9 percent) and Tennessee (5.5 percent).
  • Zombie foreclosures continue to represent just a fragment of the 1.52 million vacant homes nationwide, comprising of just one in every 175 properties, or less than one percent.
  • The highest overall vacancy rates for all residential properties continue to be in Tennessee (2.6 percent), Kansas (2.6 percent), Mississippi (2.5 percent), Oklahoma (2.5 percent) and Indiana (2.5 percent). The lowest remain in New Hampshire (0.4 percent), Vermont (0.4 percent), Delaware (0.5 percent), Idaho (0.6 percent) and North Dakota (0.7 percent).

Report Methodology

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 single-family homes and condos and counties with at least 50,000 single-family homes and condos were included in the analysis. Vacancy data is available at https://www.attomdata.com/solutions/marketing-lists/.

 About ATTOM Data Solutions

ATTOM Data Solutions provides premium property data to power products that improve transparency, innovation, efficiency and disruption in a data-driven economy. ATTOM multi-sources property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, and neighborhood data for more than 155 million U.S. residential and commercial properties covering 99 percent of the nation’s population. A rigorous data management process involving more than 20 steps validates, standardizes and enhances the data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 9TB ATTOM Data Warehouse fuels innovation in many industries including mortgage, real estate, insurance, marketing, government and more through flexible data delivery solutions that include bulk file licenses, property data APIs, real estate market trends, marketing lists, match & append and introducing the first property data delivery solution, a cloud-based data platform that streamlines data management – Data-as-a-Service (DaaS).

 Media Contact:

Christine Stricker

949.748.8428

christine.stricker@attomdata.com

Data and Report Licensing:

949.502.8313

datareports@attomdata.com

Please contact us if you have questions about the underlying data referenced in this article, or would like to have access to that data in the form of custom reports, API, Bulk File or DaaS.

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