About 288,300 homes were in the process of foreclosure in the fourth quarter, with 8,535, or 2.96% sitting empty as “zombie” foreclosures, according to ATOM Data Solutions.
That’s down from 3.2% in the third quarter and down from 4.7% in the third quarter of 2016.
Overall, about 1.5 million single-family homes and condos, representing 1.5% of all homes, were vacant as of the start of the fourth quarter, according to the firm’s data.
“The fourth quarter was a repeat of the third quarter when it came to properties abandoned by owners facing foreclosure: the scourge continued to fade,” says Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions, in a statement. “One of the most visible signs of the housing market crash during the Great Recession keeps receding into the past.”
Although there are pockets where zombie foreclosures remain, “neighborhoods throughout the country are confronting fewer and fewer of the empty, decaying properties that were symbolic of the fallout from the housing market crash during the recession,” Teta adds.
States where the zombie foreclosure rates were above the national rate of 2.9% in the third quarter included Kansas (7.9%), Oregon (7.9%), Montana (7.4%); Maine (6.7%); and New Mexico (5.8%).
States with the actual highest humber of zombie foreclosures included New York (2,266), followed by Florida (1,461), Illinois (892), Ohio (823) and New Jersey (398).
But those numbers were all lower than in the third quarter.