Friday, June 10, 2016

Report Shows Noticeable Decrease in “Zombie” Foreclosures

Do Chicago residents still need to worry about vacant homes in foreclosure blighting neighborhoods? According to a recent article in, the total number of “zombie” foreclosures throughout the country has decreased by about 30% over the last year. That number is good news for homeowners who are concerned about vacant properties on their streets, and it is a particularly positive update for Chicago residents who are hoping the value of their properties will increase.
What else should you know about the dwindling rate of zombie foreclosures in Chicago? Does the salient decrease in vacant homes suggest that residents of Chicagoland no longer need to worry about the threat of foreclosure?
Fewer Zombie Foreclosures Across the Country
The article cites a recent report from RealtyTrac, which provides housing data for cities throughout the country. A couple of weeks ago, RealtyTrac released its “Q2 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report13,” which provided details about the total number of vacant zombie foreclosures in America. In short, many of these vacant properties remain in urban areas of the country. As of May 2016, almost 1.4 million properties remained vacant due. This number (1,398,046 to be exact) represents around “1.6% of all residential properties” in our country, according to the article.
How many of those vacant properties are empty because of foreclosure? In total, there are 19,187 vacant residential properties throughout the United States that are “actively in the foreclosure process.” In total, this number represents “4.7% of all residential properties in foreclosure.” While that might sound like a lot of homes, the good news is that the number is on the decline. It is down more than three percent from April 2016, and it is down by 30.1% from May 2015. The total number of vacant homes that are currently in foreclosure has dropped by more than 30% over the last year.
According to the article, the “strong seller’s market” has enabled lenders to sell more vacant homes and to lower the number of zombie foreclosures. As Daren Blomquist explained, “as these zombie foreclosures hit the market for sale they are providing a modicum of relief for the pressure cooker of escalating prices and deteriorating affordability that have defined the U.S. housing market in recent years.”
Higher Rate of Zombie Foreclosures in Illinois
Despite the fact that there are far fewer zombie foreclosures now than at this same time last year, Illinois still is ranked among the states with the highest number of vacant properties. According to the article, Illinois had the fourth-highest rate of vacant zombie foreclosures as of May 2016, with 1,074 listed in this category. When it comes to metropolitan areas with vacant zombie foreclosures, Chicago was ranked third-highest with 857 properties. The only cities with higher zombie foreclosure numbers were New York and Philadelphia.
The housing market is getting better, and Illinois neighborhoods are improving. However, foreclosure issues remain. If you have questions about avoiding foreclosure, and experienced Oak Park foreclosure defense lawyer can assist you. Contact the Emerson Law Firm today for more information.
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