About 282,800 homes are in the process of foreclosure while about 8,700 of these homes — 3.1 percent — sit empty as “zombie” foreclosures, according to Attom Data Solutions’ Q1 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report.

The metric for the new quarter shows a slight increase from Q4 2019 zombie foreclosures, which represented nearly 3 percent of all foreclosures. However, the number of zombie foreclosures remains much less than the 5.8 percent of these foreclosures present in Q1 2014. Furthermore, although zombie foreclosures increased slightly, the total number of foreclosures in Q1 2020 is down 1.9 percent from Q4 2019.

“Homes abandoned by owners facing a possible foreclosure remain little more than a blip on the radar across the country, as one of the main scourges of the Great Recession continues to show little or no signs of re-emerging,” Todd Teta, chief product officer with Attom, said in a statement.

Attom’s report also noted that about 1.52 million single-family homes and condos are vacant in the U.S., a mere 1.5 percent of all homes. Out of these homes, zombie foreclosures represent less than one percent, with one in every 175 vacant properties being a zombie foreclosure.

“Even with the slight increase in these so-called ‘zombie foreclosures,’ so far this year, there are still pockets of distress with elevated numbers of abandoned homes.” Teta added. “But in yet another reflection of how the national housing market is still booming, you can drive through many towns and not pass a single such property.” Since 2016, the number of homes facing possible foreclosure is down 27 percent, while the number of vacant properties in the foreclosure process has dropped off by 53 percent.

Attom’s data comes from analyzing county tax assessor data for over 98 million single-family homes and condos for broken down by foreclosure status, vacancy and owner-occupancy status. Data was only gathered from metro areas with at least 100,000 single-family homes and condos and counties with at least 50,000 single-family homes and condos.

Attom Data Solutions

New York state contains the highest number of zombie properties, according to Attom’s report, with 2,206 such properties. After New York, Florida (1,390), Ohio (977), Illinois (943) and Pennsylvania (317) contained the greatest number of vacant foreclosure properties.

States that have the greatest zombie foreclosure rates with 500 or more properties in the process of foreclosing and 100 or more zombie foreclosures included Ohio (6.8 percent), Indiana (5.1 percent), Illinois (4.7 percent), Oklahoma (4.5 percent) and Maryland (4.3 percent).

The highest rates of zombie foreclosures among zip codes with at least 100 properties in foreclosure are concentrated in Watertown, New York (zip 13601), Cleveland, Ohio (44108, 44112 and 44105) and Peoria, Illinois (61604).

However, the highest level of vacant investor-owned homes are located in Indiana (8.4 percent), Kansas (6.5 percent), Ohio, (6 percent), Minnesota (5.9 percent) and Tennessee (5.5 percent).

In metros of at least 100,000 residential properties, Peoria maintained the highest percent of zombie foreclosures at 12.7 percent (in Q4 2019 it also had the most, at 13.5 percent). Cleveland, Ohio (10.5 percent); Youngstown, Ohio (9.1 percent); Syracuse, New York (8.8 percent) and Knoxville, Tennessee (8.8) followed to make up the five metro areas with the greatest number of zombie foreclosures.

Email Lillian Dickerson

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