A term has emerged in the real estate community entitled “Zombie Foreclosures.” This phrase is applied to homes where the residents have filed for foreclosure; however, since the time of filing, the inhabitants have vacated the premises. This results in an empty and decaying structure—allowing for the appropriate allusion to the decaying body of a zombie.
An article recently produced by CNN Money claims that the yearly report recently filed by RealtyTrac earlier this month indicates that foreclosure filings have decreased by twenty seven percent over the course of the year—a statistic which is, it should be noted, a seven year low. However, despite this good news, there are still over one hundred and fifty two thousand homes suffering from zombie foreclosure status across the nation. These homes are most commonly found in New York, Florida and Illinois and account for approximately twenty percent of all homes filed for foreclosure. On average, these structures, which typically have decayed beyond the point of return, have been in the process of foreclosing for approximately three years, or just over one thousand days.
With no one to care for the home, the Zombies Foreclosure structures frequently reach a point of such wreckage, that the cost of renovations would far exceed the price of demolition. Neither option is necessarily cheap and, therefore, these buildings often sit unattended, in a nearly destroyed state. This produces an eyesore that serves to do nothing but lower the value of every home in the surrounding neighborhood.
However, despite the high number of slowly decaying homes spread across the country, the RealtyTrac report indicates a hopeful tone towards the foreclosure market. The achievement of a seven-year low infuses the reporters with the belief that the foreclosure market will only continue to improve over the course of the next year.