Data curator ATTOM’s third-quarter 2022 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report showed 1.3 million (1,277,162) residential properties—1.3% or one in 78 homes—in the United States are vacant.
The report also found that 270,470 residential properties in the U.S. are in the process of foreclosure in the third quarter, up 4.4% from the second quarter and up 25.5% from the third quarter of 2021. The latest increase marks the fourth straight quarter that the number of pre-foreclosure properties has increased nationwide, the data shows, after the pandemic moratoriums were lifted. Among those pre-foreclosure properties, 7,707 are zombie-foreclosures (pre-foreclosure properties that sit vacant) in the third quarter of 2022, up 1.8% from the prior quarter and 2.2% from a year ago.
But neither the declining vacant property trend nor the increasing zombie property trend are worrisome, said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of market intelligence at ATTOM. “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,” he said.
For context, the number of zombie-foreclosures is still “historically low” and represents a very 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 is vacant and in foreclosure, meaning that most neighborhoods still have no such properties, according to ATTOM.