U.S. Residential Vacancies Decrease 9 Percent in Q3 2016 But Bank-Owned Vacancies Up 67 Percent From a Year Ago

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U.S. Residential Vacancies Decrease 9 Percent in Q3 2016 But Bank-Owned Vacancies Up 67 Percent From a Year Ago

Vacant Homes in Foreclosure (Zombies) Down 9 Percent From Year Ago;
Increase in Vacant Bank-Owned (REO) Homes Corresponds to Overall REO Increase

ATTOM Data Solutions, the nation’s leading source for comprehensive housing data and the new parent company of RealtyTrac, released its Q3 2016 U.S. Residential Property Vacancy and Zombie Foreclosure Report, which shows nearly 1.4 million (1,361,188) U.S. residential properties (1 to 4 units) representing 1.6 percent of all residential properties were vacant as of the end of the third quarter. The number of vacant properties decreased 3 percent from the previous quarter and was down 9 percent from a year ago.

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 from the U.S. Postal Service. Vacancy data is available at the address level for more than 85 million U.S. residential properties at http://marketinglists.realtytrac.com/.

The report shows that as of the end of the third quarter, 18,304 U.S. residential properties actively in the foreclosure process were vacant (zombie foreclosures), representing 4.7 percent of all residential properties in foreclosure. The number of zombie foreclosures decreased 5 percent from the previous quarter and decreased 9 percent from Q3 2015.

Meanwhile there were 46,604 vacant bank-owned (REO) residential properties as of the end of the third quarter, an increase of 7 percent from the previous quarter and up 67 percent from Q3 2015.

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Home Prices Jump, Number Of Distressed Properties Drops In LA County

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The number of distressed properties sold in Southern California and statewide has plunged dramatically over the last five years, resulting in higher home prices, according to a real estate industry group.

In January 2014, nearly 16 percent of all homes sold in Los Angeles County were distressed — a category that includes short sales and real estate-owned (REOs) properties — compared with 62 percent of all homes sold countywide in January 2009, according to data cited by the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

Data also showed REOs comprised 60 percent of all sales statewide in January 2009, while short sales made up 9.1 percent of all sales but rose to as high as 25.6 percent in January 2012. Short sales currently make up 9.2 percent of all sales.

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Homeowners who used short sales find their credit sunk

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Wendy Bana, 50, a private school principal in Orange County, California, short-sold her home three years ago because she had to relocate from Oregon for a job. Last year, she discovered that her short sale had been miscoded as a foreclosure, dashing her dream of buying a cabin at Lake Arrowhead, California.

Michael Son was just weeks away from closing on a three-bedroom ranch house in New Jersey last year when his lender called with bad news.

Despite the advertising executive’s 720 credit score and proven ability to make a 20 percent down payment, he couldn’t secure the loan. Somewhere in the fine print of his credit history, the short sale of a previous house in 2010 had been misidentified as a foreclosure.

Son withdrew his offer and reluctantly settled into yet another rental with his wife and two daughters, ages 4 and 6.

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