California's Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report Breakdown

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A Detailed Look Using Vacancy Data for the State of California

Of California’s 9.3 million residential properties, less than 1% sat vacant during the fourth quarter of 2019. There are currently just under 74,000 vacant or abandoned properties in California (as of Q4 2019), accounting for about 0.79% of all homes in the state. That rate is down slightly from the previous quarter, when 0.80% of all properties were deemed vacant.

The vacancy rate is higher on pre-foreclosure properties and those owned by investors in California. Of the 16,000-plus residential properties in some stage of foreclosure during 2019’s fourth quarter, 1.31% were marked vacant or abandoned. These are often referred to as “zombie properties” or “zombie foreclosures.”

In total, California is home to more than 2.6 million investor-owned residential properties. Of those, 2.04% have been marked as vacant as of Q4 2019. There are currently more than 53,000 vacant properties owned by investors in the state.

California claims vacancy rates lower than all national averages. Overall, the U.S. has a vacancy rate of 1.55% (vs. California’s 0.79%), with more than 1.5 million vacant properties across the country. The national rate of zombie homes is 2.96% (vs. California’s 1.31%), and its vacancy rate on investor-owned properties is 3.85% (vs. California’s 2.04%).

Here’s what the current stats look like for vacant, abandoned, and zombie properties in California.

Property StatusVacancy RateTotal Number of Properties
Vacant Properties0.79%73,981
Vacant, pre-foreclosure zombie properties1.31%210
Vacant, investor-owned properties2.04%53,261
For the latest data on California’s vacancy breakdown, check this page quarterly.

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