There are more than 1.5 million (1,530,563) U.S. single-family homes and condos vacant in the third quarter of 2019, representing 1.6% of all homes, according to ATTOM Data Solutions Q3 2019 Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report, out Thursday.

During the third quarter of 2019, more than 304,000 homes were in the process of foreclosure, with about 3.2% being "zombie" foreclosures. While the count of properties in the process of foreclosure is down by nearly 22% since ATTOM's last foreclosure vacancy report in the same period of 2016, the number that sits empty has dropped nearly in half.

"The blight of vacant, decaying properties facing foreclosure has declined dramatically across the United States – another good-news offshoot of the housing boom that's gone on for eight years," said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions. "A handful of areas still face notable problems with homes abandoned by owners after they get hit with foreclosure claims. But with the economy improving and the housing market still hot, an expanding number of neighborhoods across the country face little or no problem with these so-called zombie properties."

Other findings from the report:

  • A total of 9,612 properties facing possible foreclosure have been vacated by their owners nationwide. Washington, D.C. had the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures (12.5%). States where the rates were above the national average of 3.2% included Oregon (8.8%), Maine (8.5%), Kansas (7.6%) and New Mexico (7.0%). The lowest rates – all less than 1.4% - were in New Hampshire, Idaho, Colorado, Connecticut and Delaware.
  • New York had the highest actual number of zombie properties (2,428), followed by Florida (1,634), Illinois (985), Ohio(891) and New Jersey (463).
  • Among metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residential properties, Peoria, IL, had the highest percentage of vacant foreclosures (zombies) at 16.5%, followed by Wichita, KS (9.5%), Syracuse, NY (9.3%), Honolulu, HI (8.5%) and Youngstown, OH (8.4%).
  • Among zip codes with at least 100 properties in pre-foreclosure, the highest rates of owner-vacated properties were concentrated in New York, Florida, Ohio and Illinois. The zip codes with the top%ages were zip code 61605 in the Peoria, IL metropolitan statistical area with 48.6%, zip codes 44108 (26.0%), 44112 (23.0%), and 44105 (19.7%), all in the Cleveland, OH, area and rounding out the top five is zip code 14701 in Jamestown, NY with 19.6%.
  • The top zombie foreclosure rates in counties with at least 500 properties in foreclosure included Peoria County, IL (21.9%); Baltimore City, MD (11.4%); Broome County, NY (11.1%); Onondaga County, NY (9.6%) and Madison County, IL (9.6%).
  • The highest levels of vacant investor-owned properties were in Indiana (8.8%), Kansas (6.7%), Minnesota (6.0%), Ohio, (5.9%) and Rhode Island (5.8%).