The Real Deal Miami

Miami is curing its zombie problem

South Florida’s biggest city cuts its zombie foreclosures in half
June 11, 2015 10:30AM

Sluggish bank repossession leaves zombie homes to roam the market

As foreclosure rates continue to drop across the nation, one particularly undead type of repossession has seen a drastic reduction in the counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach.

Zombie foreclosures, or homes that are vacant but aren’t yet repossessed, decreased by almost 50 percent in the second quarter of 2015 when compared to the same time period last year, according to a RealtyTrac report. The tri-county area had a total of 7,021 zombie foreclosures, ranking it fourth in the country for vacant homes in foreclosure. The region most plagued by these homes is New York and New Jersey, which have a staggering 19,927 residences shambling through the market with no owner.

Florida’s cities saw some of the country’s most drastic improvement, but still lead the nation for zombie foreclosure rates

On a statewide level, Florida still leads the nation for zombie foreclosures with a total of 27,808 during the second quarter. Only New York came close, with 17,043 undead properties.

Florida also took the top spot for foreclosure rates in general, coming in at 3.3 percent of all its mortgaged homes.

“In South Florida, we continue to see a dramatic improvement in the foreclosure arena. Zombie foreclosures have dropped 46 percent year-over-year. The wheels of our judicial process turn slowly, but the good news is we are in the last rounds of this fight,” said Mike Pappas, CEO and president of the Keyes Company, in a statement. “Occupied homes always outperform vacated properties. It behooves the banks to work with the homeowners to maximize the property value for all.” — Sean Stewart-Muniz