The number of zombie properties, which are pre-foreclosure, abandoned homes—seen as boarded-up blights to the community by many—ticked up in the third quarter of 2022. The total number increased by 1.8% from the last quarter and by 2.2% from one year ago, according to ATTOM, a curator of real estate data.
ATTOM’s report, based on publicly recorded foreclosure, equity and owner-occupancy status data, also revealed that 270,470 properties were in the process of foreclosure in the third quarter of 2022. This figure is up 4.4% from the last quarter and up 25.5% from one year ago.
These latest numbers mark the fourth straight quarter that the amount of pre-foreclosure homes across the U.S. increased. The uptick, which began in the third quarter of 2021, coincided with the expiration of the foreclosure moratorium at the end of July 2021.
Still, the number of zombie foreclosures remains at historic lows—just one in every 12,947 homes in the third quarter was vacant and in foreclosure. In addition, the overall vacancy rate is down slightly from the last quarter and from one year ago.
- 7,707 residential properties facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide in the third quarter, up slightly from 7,569 in the last quarter and from 7,538 in the third quarter of 2021.
- States that saw the biggest increases in zombie foreclosures were Oklahoma, Missouri, California, Massachusetts and Florida.
- The biggest decreases came in Kentucky, Georgia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Nevada.
- The highest zombie rates were in Wichita, Kansas; Peoria, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Syracuse, New York; and South Bend, Indiana.
- Among the 27.9 million investor-owned homes throughout the U.S. in the third quarter, about 888,000 were vacant, or 3.2%.
“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.”
Read the full report here.