Key Highlights

  • Nearly 4% of homes facing possible foreclosure now vacant, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Q3 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report
  • 5M residential properties now vacant
  • Abandoned foreclosures up +3% from Q2 2020

Still a tiny fraction of properties in the process of foreclosure, some 216,000 in Q3 2020, the percentage of properties now abandoned as “zombie” foreclosures is up +3% from Q2 2020.

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Q3 2020 data recently published by ATTOM Data Solution’s 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report indicates two seemingly contradictory movements in the US housing market: 1) Q3 data indicates a drop in the number of properties at some point in the foreclosure process and 2) an increase in the number of properties now sitting vacant.

The reason for such low numbers of homes in the process of foreclosure, some 216,000 or -16% of the some 258,000 in Q2, could be the government’s ban on evictions and foreclosures on government-backed mortgages now extended through the end of 2020. On the other hand, according to Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM, said, “…the latest numbers (of abandoned homes in foreclosure) do throw a small potential red flag into the air, given the increase in the percentage of zombie foreclosures.”

Zombie-foreclosure rates increased from Q2 to Q3 in all states except Hawaii and decreased only in the District of Columbia. States with the largest increases of zombie foreclosure included:

  • Kansas – up from 7.4% in Q2 to 15% in Q3
  • Missouri – up from 4% in Q2 to +11.2% in Q3
  • Georgia – up from 3.9% in Q2 to 11% in Q3
  • Kentucky – up from 3.9% in Q2 to 10.7% in Q3
  • Nebraska – up from 4% in Q2 to 10.3% in Q3

Rick Sharga, now back with Realty Trac as executive vice president, “It appears that an increased number of vacant foreclosure properties may be the unintended consequence of the foreclosure moratoria put in place by Federal, State, and Local Governments…the sooner these abandoned properties (potential neighborhood blight and safety hazards) can be processed and sold to homebuyers or investors, the better it will be for communities and neighborhoods across the country.”

States with the highest numbers as well as the highest ratios of zombie properties are concentrated in the Northeast and the Midwest with New York, Florida, Illinois, Ohio and New Jersey leading the way. Major metros with the highest zombie-foreclosure rates include Peoria IL, Wichita KS, Kansas City MO, Omaha NE and Cleveland OH. Major metros with the least zombie foreclosure rates include Austin TX, San Francisco CA, Philadelphia PA, Los Angeles CA and Charlotte NC.

Thanks to ATTOM Data Solutions.

Also read: Home Sellers Realized +36.3% ROI in Q2 2020, Home Flipping Rate in Q1 Hits 14-Year High While ROI Plunged to 9-Year Low, eXp World Holdings Stock Price Rises with Its Earnings