Although there aren't as many as there used to be, there are still plenty of zombies out there in Foreclosure Land, a report from RealtyTrac reveals.
The firm's Q2 2015 Zombie Foreclosure Report shows that there were about 127,021 zombie foreclosures in the second quarter, down 11% compared to the first quarter and down 10% compared to the second quarter of 2014.
Surprisingly, about 24% of all active foreclosures in the quarter were zombies – in other words, for about one in every four foreclosures, the homeowner had vacated the premises prior to repossession.
Although the number of zombies was down overall in the second quarter, the number of zombies was actually up from a year ago in about half of the major cities in the U.S., including New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Atlantic City, Trenton and Tampa.
As RealtyTrac points out, most of these properties will likely end up as short sales, foreclosure auction sales or bank-owned sales.
‘A growing number of states and cities have enacted public policy measures to combat the problem of zombie foreclosures, and we are seeing the results of those efforts in the overall decrease nationwide as well as in several hard-hit markets such as Chicago, Miami and Cleveland,’ says Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. ‘Still, as banks push through long-deferred foreclosures that are more likely to be owner-vacated this year, we are seeing a somewhat surprising increase in zombie foreclosures in markets with overall low foreclosure rates such as Los Angeles, Houston and Boston.
‘The average estimated market value of an owner-vacated foreclosure is 22 percent below the average estimated market value of an owner-occupied foreclosure, indicating that it is in a foreclosing bank's best interest to have a home occupied during the foreclosure process and also demonstrating how these zombies are contributing to blight in neighborhoods across the country,’ he adds.
Cities where the number of zombies decreased from a year ago included Chicago (down 28%), Dallas (down 27%), Miami (down 46%), Atlanta (down 33%) and Phoenix (down 14%).
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