Markets & Economy

U.S. ‘zombie’ foreclosure rate drops, but overall vacancy up

Lenders unloading below-market inventory providing price relief, says RealtyTrac
  • There has been a 30.1 percent year-over-year decline in "zombie" foreclosures -- or properties actively in the foreclosure process left vacant -- across the U.S.
  • However, overall vacancy rates increased 2.7 percent since last quarter.

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RealtyTrac released its Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report for Q2, outlining a 30.1 percent year-over-year decline in "zombie" foreclosures -- or properties actively in the foreclosure process left vacant -- across the U.S. “The properties that were 'zombies' last year are now bank-owned properties that the banks are putting up for sale this spring and summer,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac. “We see that through a drop-off in zombie foreclosures combined with a 12-month surge in bank repossessions that ended in February.” For homeowners, high numbers of foreclosures in any given neighborhood could be a drag on home values, but the banks recognize the current seller’s market. On the other hand, Blomquist said, more homes on the market in cities with tight supply and escalating prices could provide opportunity. This might be especially helpful in the starter home category, where first-time homebuyers are searching ...