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Nearly 300,000 U.S. homes are in the process of foreclosure this quarter, up 4.4% from the second quarter and a jump of more than 25% from 2021’s third quarter, ATTOM Data Solutions reported Thursday.
The Irvine, Calif.-based company, which tracks real estate data, says the latest increase marks the fourth straight quarter the count of pre-foreclosure properties has jumped since a nationwide moratorium on lenders pursuing delinquent homeowners was imposed on them due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A total of 270,470 residential properties are in the process of foreclosure this quarter, the company said. Another 7,707 residential properties were vacated by their owners this quarter and face possible foreclosure, up from 7,569 residential properties vacated in the second quarter, ATTOM reported.
Spokesperson Christine Stricker described the numbers, which came from the company's third-quarter 2022 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, as "a snapshot in time" and not complete results for third quarter.
The report also showed that 1,277,162 residential properties in the United States are vacant, representing about 1.3% of all homes across the country.
“We see two trends heading in opposite directions — the number of vacant properties continues to decline, and the number of 'zombie' properties (pre-foreclosure properties that sit vacant) continues to increase, although neither trend appears to be particularly worrisome,” said Rick Sharga, ATTOM executive vice president of market intelligence. “Vacancy rates should continue to be low as investor and prospective homebuyers compete for limited inventory. And the number of zombie properties should continue to increase slowly as foreclosure activity climbs back from historically low levels due to government intervention.”
The number of foreclosures on vacant homes remains historically low, ATTOM said, and continues to represent a small segment of the nation’s total stock of 99.8 million residential properties. Just one of every 12,947 homes in the third quarter of 2022 are vacant and in foreclosure, meaning that most neighborhoods have no such properties, it said.
The portion of pre-foreclosure properties that have been abandoned continues to decline, from 3.5% a year go to 2.9% in the second quarter of this year, ATTOM said.
The states with the biggest increases in zombie foreclosures between the second and third quarters this year include Oklahoma (up 22%, from 97 to 118), Missouri (up 16%, from 55 to 64), California (up 15%, from 221 to 254), Massachusetts (up 9%, from 54 to 59), and Florida (up 8%, from 922 to 998).
The states with the biggest declines in zombie foreclosures between the second and third quarters this year include Kentucky (down 14%, from 63 to 54), Georgia (down 10%, from 80 to 72), New Jersey (down 7%, from 257 to 240), Pennsylvania (down 6%, from 371 to 349), and Nevada (down 6%, from 86 to 81).
The highest zombie foreclosures in major U.S. cities includes Cleveland (8.9%), Baltimore (7.4%), St. Louis (5.6%), Pittsburgh (5.6%), Tampa (4.7%), and Indianapolis (4.6%).