Nationwide, 167,680 distressed properties sat vacant through May, accounting for 20 percent of all foreclosures, according to the U.S. Foreclosure Market Report released June 19 by analytics firm RealtyTrac.
The report found that in addition to the vacated properties, more than 650,000 homes in the foreclosure process have not been vacated by the homeowner, but likely will end up as short sales, foreclosure auction sales or bank-owned sales, bringing the total foreclosure-related inventory on RealtyTrac to nearly 1.4 million.
Efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and mitigate their impact on home values have resulted in a foreclosure process that takes an average of 477 days nationwide and more than two years in some states, which is holding many of these must-sell properties off the market, according to Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac.
Blomquist said that if the distressed inventory was to hit the market all at once, it would have little impact on home prices.
“Even if all these homes flooded the market simultaneously they would likely not cause the once-feared double dip in prices given supply constraints from non-distressed sellers and stronger demand,” Blomquist said in a news release accompanying the report.
The report revealed that states with long foreclosure timelines — particularly Florida and New York — contained higher numbers of vacant foreclosures, with Florida counting 55,503 vacant foreclosures and New York dealing with 9,173. Illinois also ranked high with 17,672 vacant foreclosures, followed by Ohio with 9,723 vacant foreclosures.
States where the percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures was above the national average of 20 percent included Indiana (32 percent), Nevada (28 percent), Oregon (28 percent), Washington (27 percent) and Georgia (27 percent).
Among the five servicers involved in the national mortgage settlement, Bank of America and GMAC had the highest percentage of owner-vacated foreclosures (23 percent) followed by Chase (21 percent) and Wells Fargo and Citi tied at 20 percent.
See the full RealtyTrac report.