Vacant “Zombie” Pre-Foreclosures Down 22 Percent From Year Ago to New Low; Flint, Youngstown, Beaumont, Detroit, Mobile Top List of Most Vacant Metro Areas; Three Out of Four Vacant Residential Properties Nationwide Are Investment Homes
Irvine, CA – Oct. 26, 2017 (PRNewswire) ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s largest multi-sourced property database, today released its 2017 U.S. Residential Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, which shows nearly 1.4 million (1,367,793) U.S. residential properties (1 to 4 units) were vacant as of the end of the third quarter of 2017 — representing 1.58 percent of all U.S. residential properties.
The 1.58 percent vacant property rate nationwide decreased slightly from 1.63 percent a year ago, but vacant property rates increased from a year ago in 81 of the 149 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report (54 percent), including Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Baltimore and Phoenix.
The report shows that the number of vacant “zombie” pre-foreclosure properties — which have started the foreclosure process but have not yet been repossessed by the foreclosing lender — decreased 22 percent from a year ago to 14,312 as of the end of Q3 2017, a new low. The number of vacant bank-owned properties decreased 48 percent from a year ago to 24,026 as of the end of Q3 2017.
“Zombie foreclosures have dwindled dramatically over the last four years as a supply-starved housing has soaked up even some of the most highly distressed properties,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions. “There are still pockets of the country with high zombie foreclosure rates, and high vacant property rates in general, primarily in the Rust Belt and parts of the Northeast and Southeast — driven in large part by a high share of non-owner occupied vacant properties in those areas.”
Zip codes where one in four residential properties is vacant
Among 149 metropolitan statistical areas analyzed in the report, those with the highest vacancy rates were Flint, Michigan (6.89 percent); Youngstown, Ohio (4.49 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (3.80 percent); Detroit, Michigan (3.77 percent); and Mobile, Alabama (3.77 percent).
Among 13,616 U.S. zip codes analyzed in the report, those with the highest vacancy rates were led by three zip codes in the city of Gary, Indiana: 46409 (30.26 percent); 46407 (29.62 percent); and 46402 (29.53 percent), followed by 48505 in Flint, Michigan (29.00 percent); and 44507 in Youngstown, Ohio (25.97 percent).
9 percent of zip codes have no vacant residential properties
Metro areas with the lowest vacancy rates were San Jose, California (0.23 percent); Fort Collins, Colorado (0.24 percent); Lancaster, Pennsylvania (0.26 percent); Manchester, New Hampshire (0.31 percent); and Provo, Utah (0.34 percent).
“The low vacant property rates in the Seattle region are good for landlords and sellers but not so good for buyers or renters,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate, covering the Seattle market, where the 0.9 percent vacant property rate was well below the national average and ranked No. 41 lowest among the 149 metro areas analyzed in the report. “It is indicative of the very hot housing market in Seattle and I believe that the percentages could drop even further as we move into 2018.”
There were 1,282 zip codes with no vacant residential properties, including 28078 in Huntersville, North Carolina; 85383 in Peoria, Arizona; 34110 in Naples, Florida; and 33018 in Hialeah, Florida.
“As home values and rental rates have continued to escalate across Southern California, vacant property rates have continued to decline across the region,” said Michael Mahon, president at First Team Real Estate covering the Southern California market. “With housing affordability becoming an increasing topic of concern, many residential properties are being converted to rental property inventory, in attempt to take advantage of the increasing demand of rental properties within the marketplace.”
75 percent of vacant properties are non-owner occupied (investment)
Nationwide more than 1 million non-owner occupied (investment) residential properties (1,032,851) were vacant, representing 4.30 percent of all non-owner occupied residential properties and unchanged from a year ago.
About ATTOM Data Solutions
ATTOM Data Solutions is the curator of the ATTOM Data Warehouse, a multi-sourced national property database that blends property tax, deed, mortgage, foreclosure, environmental risk, natural hazard, health hazards, neighborhood characteristics and other property characteristic data for more than 150 million U.S. residential and commercial properties. The ATTOM Data Warehouse delivers actionable data to businesses, consumers, government agencies, universities, policymakers including bulk file licenses, APIs and customized reports.
Jennifer von Pohlmann