Zombie Foreclosures Inch Down to 1.5% in Q1

Irvine, CA, February 28, 2020-One-and-a-half percent, or 1.52 million, U.S. single-family homes and condos are vacant, according to ATTOM Data Solutions’ Q1 2020 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report.

About 282,800 homes are in the process of foreclosure, with about 8,700, or 3.1% sitting empty as "zombie" foreclosures. The percentage is up from 3% in Q4 2019, but still significantly less than 5.8% in Q1 2014.

The total number of properties in the process of foreclosure in the first quarter of 2020 is down 1.9% from Q4 2019, while the number vacant foreclosures is up 1.7%, meaning that the level of zombie properties rose while the count of foreclosures dipped. Since 2016, the number facing possible foreclosure is down 27%, while the tally of unoccupied properties in the foreclosure pipeline has declined 53%.

"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," said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. "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. 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."