ATTOM: Zombie Foreclosures Increase in Second Quarter 2021

ATTOM: Zombie Foreclosures Increase in Second Quarter 2021

Industry Update
May 27, 2021

Source: ATTOM Data Solutions

But Zombie Foreclosures Still Represent Just One of Every 12,300 Residential Properties; Percentage of Foreclosure Properties Sitting Empty Ticks Down

IRVINE, Calif. – May 27, 2021 — ATTOM Data Solutions, curator of the nation’s premier property database, today released its second-quarter 2021 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showing that 1.4 million (1,409,457) residential properties in the United States are vacant this quarter, representing 1.4 percent of all homes.

The report analyzes publicly recorded real estate data collected by ATTOM Data Solutions — including foreclosure status, equity, and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data. (See full methodology enclosed below). Vacancy data is available for U.S. residential properties at https://www.attomdata.com/solutions/marketing-lists/.

The report reveals that 223,671 properties are in the process of foreclosure in the second quarter of this year, up 27.5 percent from the first quarter of 2021 but still down 13.3 percent from the second quarter of 2020. The number of pre-foreclosure homes or Zombie homes sitting empty (8,078 in the second quarter of 2021) was up both quarterly, by 21 percent, and annually, by 5.6 percent.

The portion of pre-foreclosure properties that have been abandoned into zombie status dropped slightly, from 3.8 percent in the first quarter of 2021 to 3.6 percent in the second quarter of 2021.

Among the nation’s total stock of 99 million residential properties, the portion represented by zombie properties remains miniscule, but has grown slightly in the second quarter of 2021. One of every 12,256 homes in the second quarter sit empty in the foreclosure process, up from one in 14,825 in the first quarter of 2021 and up from one in 12,967 in the second quarter of last year.

The count of zombie foreclosures has risen this quarter despite an ongoing federally-imposed moratorium on foreclosures aimed at helping homeowners get through economic troubles stemming from the worldwide Coronavirus pandemic. Affecting about 70 percent of home loans in the United States, the moratorium bars lenders from pursuing delinquent homeowners who have government-backed mortgages. It has been in place since last March and is currently in effect until the end of June. Some private lenders also have voluntarily offered mortgage extensions.

“The latest numbers show a spike in zombie properties during the second quarter that stands out compared to recent times, especially given the moratorium. It may simply be due to lenders foreclosing on homes that were already abandoned. We are watching that closely to see what it means and whether it’s the start of new trend,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. “But even with the increase, zombie foreclosures are still just a dot on the housing market radar screen, which is more testimony to how strong the housing market remains. You can still walk around most neighborhoods around the country and literally not find a single empty house going through the takeover process, and that remains very good news for current homeowners, as well as potential homeowners.”

For full report, please click the source link above.