Vacant ‘Zombies’ Are Fading Fast in Real Estate

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | FRIDAY, MAY 20, 2016

The number of properties in the foreclosure process that are vacant – dubbed “zombie foreclosures” – has plunged 30.1 percent compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac.

Read more'Remarkable Improvement' in Foreclosures

Zombie foreclosures now make up just 4.7 percent of all residential properties in foreclosure.

“Lenders have been taking advantage of the strong seller’s market to dispose of lingering foreclosure inventory over the past year, evidenced by 12 consecutive months of increasing bank repossessions ending in February and now evidenced by these numbers showing a sharp drop in vacant zombie foreclosures compared to a year ago,” says Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “As these zombie foreclosures hit the market for sale they are providing a modicum of relief for the pressure cooker of escalating prices and deteriorating affordability that have defined the U.S. housing market in recent years.”

The following states have the highest number of vacant “zombie” foreclosures:

  • New Jersey: 4,003
  • New York: 3,352
  • Florida: 2,467
  • Illinois: 1,074
  • Ohio: 1,064

On a metro-level, the following areas with at least 100,000 residential properties had the highest number of zombie foreclosures in the second quarter:

  • New York: 3,526
  • Philadelphia: 1,744
  • Chicago: 857
  • Miami: 651
  • Tampa: 627

Source: RealtyTrac