About 1.5 million U.S. single-family homes and condos were vacant in the third quarter, representing 1.6% of all homes, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
During the third quarter, more than 304,000 homes were in the process of foreclosure, with about 3.2% being “zombie” foreclosures.
While the count of properties in the process of foreclosure is down by nearly 22% since ATTOM’s last foreclosure vacancy report in the same period of 2016, the number that sits empty has dropped nearly in half, according to the data and analytics firm.
“The blight of vacant, decaying properties facing foreclosure has declined dramatically across the U.S. – another good-news offshoot of the housing boom that’s gone on for eight years,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, in a statement. “A handful of areas still face notable problems with homes abandoned by owners after they get hit with foreclosure claims. But with the economy improving and the housing market still hot, an expanding number of neighborhoods across the country face little or no problem with these so-called zombie properties.”
As of the end of July, a total of 9,612 properties facing possible foreclosure had been vacated by their owners nationwide.
Washington, D.C. had the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures at 12.5%.
States where the rates were above the national average of 3.2% included Oregon (8.8%), Maine (8.5%), Kansas (7.6%) and New Mexico (7.0%). The lowest rates – all less than 1.4% – were in New Hampshire, Idaho, Colorado, Connecticut and Delaware.
New York had the highest actual number of zombie properties (2,428), followed by Florida (1,634), Illinois (985), Ohio (891) and New Jersey (463).
Among metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residential properties, Peoria, Ill., had the highest percentage of vacant foreclosures (zombies) at 16.5%, followed by Wichita, Kan. (9.5%), Syracuse, N.Y. (9.3%), Honolulu, Hawaii (8.5%) and Youngstown, Ohio (8.4%).