Some promising news related to the foreclosure crisis: The number of so-called “Zombie” abandoned properties in the foreclosure process are declining substantially.
RealtyTrac‘s latest report on “Zombie Foreclosures” found that these residential properties represented 1.6 percent of all U.S. residential properties as of May 2016.
The number of vacant properties increased 2.7 percent from the previous quarter when 1,361,628 U.S. residential properties were vacant.
However, RealtyTrac’s report also shows that 19,187 U.S. residential properties “actively in the foreclosure process” were vacant (zombie foreclosures), representing 4.7 percent of all residential properties in foreclosure — down 3.1 percent from the previous quarter and down 30.1 percent from a year ago.
The analysis used RealtyTrac’s publicly recorded real estate data — including foreclosure status, and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data from the U.S. Postal Service.
“Lenders have been taking advantage of the strong seller’s market to dispose of lingering foreclosure inventory over the past year, evidenced by 12 consecutive months of increasing bank repossessions ending in February and now evidenced by these numbers showing a sharp drop in vacant zombie foreclosures compared to a year ago,” said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at RealtyTrac.
Meanwhile, when these zombie foreclosures hit the markets at discounted prices they “are providing a modicum of relief for the pressure cooker of escalating prices and deteriorating affordability that have defined the U.S. housing market in recent years,” said Blomquist said.
States with the most vacant “zombie” foreclosures were New Jersey (4,003), New York (3,352), Florida (2,467), Illinois (1,074), and Ohio (1,064).