St Louis Area Vacant Property Rate and Zombie Foreclosure Rate On The Rise

Zombies are on the rise in St Louis! I’m referring, of course, to Zombie foreclosures and not the spooky creatures from scary movies.  A zombie foreclosure is a property that is in “pre-foreclosure” meaning it is in the foreclosure process but has not been yet foreclosed upon and is vacant or abandoned by the current owner.  We saw the levels of zombie foreclosures rise significantly after the housing bubble burst back in 2008 but then fall around 2012 as the market began its recovery.  For the 3rd quarter of 2020, according to ATTOM Data Research, 10.8% of the homes in pre-foreclosure were vacant or otherwise known as “zombies foreclosures”.  This is a fairly significant increase in the zombie rate from the prior quarter when 7.79% of the pre-foreclosures were vacant.  A year ago, during the 3rd quarter of 2010, the zombie foreclosure rate was 7.77%.

St Louis vacant property rate rises during 3rd quarter as well..

As the table below also illustrates, 2.95% of the more than 1,000,000 residential properties in the St Louis MSA were vacant during the 3rd quarter of 2020 which is an increase from 2.88% for the 2nd quarter of 2020 as well as an increase from a year ago when the vacancy rate was 2.86%.


St Louis Area Vacant Homes and Zombie Foreclosures

St Louis Area Vacant Homes and Zombie Foreclosures


Zombie Foreclosures In St Louis

Zombie Foreclosures, while fewer, are still quite prevalent in the St Louis area.  So, what is a zombie foreclosure?  Good question.  It’s yet another term that has come out of the real estate bubble burst of 2008 and refers to homes that are in the foreclosure process and the owner has vacated the home prior to actually losing it as the foreclosure is not complete.  These properties often become an eyesore and burden on the neighbors, and the city they are in, as they are sort of in “no man’s land” as the owner has left the property and typically does not continue to maintain it as they are losing it however, it is not yet foreclosed upon so the lender does not own it yet (and if it sells at the foreclosure to a third party won’t own it) therefore they normally do not maintain it.  Therefore, until the foreclosure is actually final, the property often sits and deteriorates without attention.

Where in St Louis can you find Zombies?

As the table below shows, zombie foreclosures are concentrated, to a large extent, in the North St Louis County area with 5 of the top ten zombie locations being in North County.  The 63136 zip, which encompasses all of Jennings as well as some areas around Jennings including part of north St Louis, is at the top of the list with 16 “zombies“, following by the 63031 zip area of Florissant with 13, and then the 63135 zip area, which is predominately Ferguson, with 11.

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