Zombie Properties Still Represent Just One of Every 13,000 Residential Properties Nationwide; But Ratio is Up Since Lifting of Foreclosure Moratorium One Year Ago
IRVINE, CA – Aug. 18, 2022 — ATTOM, a leading curator of real estate data nationwide for land and property data, today released its third-quarter 2022 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showing that 1.3 million (1,277,162) residential properties in the United States sit vacant. That figure represents 1.3 percent, or one in 78 homes, across the nation.
The report analyzes publicly recorded real estate data collected by ATTOM — including foreclosure status, equity and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data. (See full methodology below). Vacancy data is available for U.S. residential properties at https://www.attomdata.com/solutions/marketing-lists/.
The report also reveals that 270,470 residential properties in the U.S. are in the process of foreclosure in the third quarter of this year, up 4.4 percent from the second quarter of 2022 and up 25.5 percent from the third quarter of 2021. The latest increase marks the fourth straight quarter that the count of pre-foreclosure properties has increased since a nationwide moratorium on lenders pursuing delinquent homeowners, imposed after the Coronavirus pandemic hit in 2020, was lifted at the end of July 2021.
Among those pre-foreclosure properties, 7,707 are zombie-foreclosures (pre-foreclosure properties that sit vacant) in the third quarter of 2022, up 1.8 percent from the prior quarter and 2.2 percent from a year ago.
“We see two trends heading in opposite directions – the number of vacant properties continues to decline and the number of zombie properties continues to increase, although neither trend appears to be particularly worrisome,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “Vacancy rates should continue to be low as investor and prospective homebuyers compete for limited inventory. And the number of zombie properties should continue to increase slowly as foreclosure activity climbs back from historically low levels due to government intervention.”
The number of zombie-foreclosures does remain historically low and continues to represent just a tiny segment of the nation’s total stock of 99.8 million residential properties. Just one of every 12,947 homes in the third quarter of 2022 is vacant and in foreclosure, meaning that most neighborhoods still have no such properties. The portion of pre-foreclosure properties that have been abandoned into zombie status, meanwhile, continues to decline, from 3.5 percent a year ago to 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2022 and 2.8 percent in the third quarter of this year.
But the level of all homes sitting empty as zombie properties has grown for the second quarter in a row and now is up 3.6 percent from one in 13,424 in the first quarter of this year.
The latest bump-ups in overall and zombie-property counts – while presenting an issue to watch – comes at a time when the relentless U.S. housing market boom has continued into its 11th year despite forces that threaten to slow it down.
Zombie foreclosures up again but remain tiny portion of overall market
A total of 7,707 residential properties facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide in the third quarter of 2022, up from 7,569 in the second quarter of 2022 and from 7,538 in the third quarter of 2021.
While the issue remains nonexistent in most neighborhoods, the biggest increases from the second quarter of 2022 to the third quarter of 2022 in states with at least 50 zombie foreclosures are in Oklahoma (zombie properties up 22 percent, from 97 to 118), Missouri (up 16 percent, from 55 to 64), California (up 15 percent, from 221 to 254), Massachusetts (up 9 percent, from 54 to 59) and Florida (up 8 percent, from 922 to 998).
The biggest quarterly decreases among states with at least 50 zombie foreclosures are in Kentucky (zombie properties down 14 percent, from 63 to 54), Georgia (down 10 percent, from 80 to 72), New Jersey (down 7 percent, from 257 to 240), Pennsylvania (down 6 percent, from 371 to 349) and Nevada (down 6 percent, from 86 to 81).
Overall vacancy rates continue downward trend in most of nation
The vacancy rate for all residential properties in the U.S. has dropped to 1.28 percent in the third quarter of 2022 (one in 78 properties). That’s down from 1.31 percent in the second quarter of 2022 (one in 76) and from 1.35 percent in the third quarter of last year (one in 74).
States with the biggest annual drops are Tennessee (down from 2.33 percent of all homes in the third quarter of 2021 to 1.34 percent in the third quarter of this year), Minnesota (down from 1.24 percent to 0.84 percent), Oregon (down from 1.26 percent to 0.95 percent), Wisconsin (down from 1.03 percent to 0.72 percent) and Georgia (down from 1.82 percent to 1.53 percent).
Other high-level findings from the third quarter of 2022:
- Among metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S. with at least 100,000 residential properties and at least 100 properties facing possible foreclosure in the third quarter of 2022, the highest zombie rates are in Wichita, KS (11.9 percent of properties in the foreclosure process are vacant); Peoria, IL (10.5 percent); Cleveland, OH (8.9 percent); Syracuse, NY (8.7 percent) and South Bend, IN (8.2 percent).
- Aside from Cleveland, the highest zombie-foreclosure rates in major metro areas with at least 500,000 residential properties and at least 100 homes facing foreclosure in the third quarter of 2022 are in Baltimore, MD (7.4 percent of homes in the foreclosure process are vacant); St. Louis, MO (5.6 percent); Pittsburgh, PA (5.6 percent); Tampa, FL (4.7 percent) and Indianapolis, IN (4.6 percent).
- Among the 27.9 million investor-owned homes throughout the U.S. in the third quarter of 2022, about 888,000 are vacant, or 3.2 percent. The highest levels of vacant investor-owned homes are in Indiana (6.8 percent), Kansas (5.8 percent), Oklahoma (5.3 percent), Alabama (5 percent) and Ohio (5 percent).
- Among the roughly 4,200 foreclosed, bank-owned homes in the U.S. during the third quarter of 2022, 8.2 percent are vacant. In states with at least 50 bank-owned homes, the largest vacancy rates are in Ohio (14.5 percent vacant), Pennsylvania (13 percent), Illinois (12.5 percent), New York (11 percent) and Maryland (10.5 percent).
- The highest zombie-foreclosure rates in U.S. counties with at least 500 properties in the foreclosure process during the third quarter of 2022 are in Broome County (Binghamton), NY (11.4 percent zombie foreclosures); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH (10.1 percent); Pinellas County (Clearwater), FL (9.9 percent); Onondaga County (Syracuse), NY (9.3 percent) and Oneida County, NY (outside Syracuse) (8.5 percent).
- Among 425 counties with at least 50,000 residential properties, those with the largest portion of total homes in zombie-foreclosure status during the third quarter of 2022 are Broome County (Binghamton), NY (one of every 647 properties); Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), OH (one in 959); Suffolk County (eastern Long Island), NY (one in 1,188); Peoria County, IL (one in 1,228) and Oneida County, NY (outside Syracuse) (one in 1,437).
ATTOM analyzed county tax assessor data for about 99 million residential properties 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. Vacancy data is available at https://www.attomdata.com/solutions/marketing-lists/.
ATTOM 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 real estate data collected by ATTOM, assigning each property record with a persistent, unique ID — the ATTOM ID. The 30TB 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, property reports and more. Also, introducing our newest innovative solution, that offers immediate access and streamlines data management – ATTOM Cloud.
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