‘Zombie’ homes fading away in the Tampa Bay area

This Shore Acres home was a longtime, abandoned "zombie" home. "Zombie'' homes are houses in foreclosure limbo whose owners have abandoned them. A new report shows the number of such properties in the Tampa Bay area has dropped dramatically. 
[LARA CERRI  | Times file, 2015]
This Shore Acres home was a longtime, abandoned "zombie" home. "Zombie'' homes are houses in foreclosure limbo whose owners have abandoned them. A new report shows the number of such properties in the Tampa Bay area has dropped dramatically. [LARA CERRI | Times file, 2015]
Published October 30 2018
Updated October 30 2018

"Zombies’’ are gradually disappearing from Tampa Bay’s housing scene.

As of the end of September, the area had just 410 zombies, or vacant homes in some stage of foreclosure, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. That was 6.7 percent of all homes in foreclosure, down from 7.3 percent at the same time last year but still far higher than the current national rate of 1.52 percent.

Three years ago, 7,838 bay area homes — one of every three in foreclosure — were zombies that had been abandoned by the borrower but not yet repossessed by the bank.

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"Nationally, the number of vacant foreclosures is now less than one-fourth of the more than 44,000 in 2013 when we first began tracking these zombie homes," said Daren Blomquist, ATTOM’s senior vice president. "Policy solutions such as land banks designed to mitigate the ripple effects of vacant properties on neighborhoods and cities have had a substantial impact, and a booming housing market in many areas of the country is lifting all boats."

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