Should Granbury Buyers and Sellers be Worried About Growing Zombie Foreclosures?

Recent news headlines have shared that zombie foreclosures are increasing in number across the country. Does this mean that Granbury homeowners and potential buyers should be concerned about the state of the real estate market?

What is a Zombie Foreclosure?Should Granbury Buyers and Sellers be Worried About Growing Zombie Foreclosures?

A zombie foreclosure is one where the bank has taken possession of the property and it is sitting vacant. It is not awaiting the former homeowners to move out, they have already done so. 

What the Recent Headlines Have Reported

Current news stories have shared that the number of zombie foreclosures is on the rise across the nation. Reports show that the number hit almost 1.3 million at the beginning of the fourth quarter of 2023. This information was shared in a report compiled by real estate data firm ATTOM. Numbers also show that the current number of empty homes increased by 15.3 percent as compared to this time last year and that the number of empty homes increased by 1.4 percent from the third quarter of 2023. 

Just reading this snippet of information can seem alarming and like the beginnings of a real estate market downturn. When looking at the full picture of homes across the country this is only 1 in every 11,412 homes. When looking at the percentage of all homes nationwide it translates to only 1.27% of American homes being empty and not all of those empty homes are due to foreclosure. 

Do Granbury Residents Need to be Concerned This is the Start of a Recession?

The numbers show that the overall number of empty homes is growing and that foreclosure numbers are climbing, but it isn't cause for worry just yet, but maybe a bit of awareness. What is causing the numbers to rise? Many market experts attribute it to the foreclosure moratoriums put into place during the COVID-19 pandemic which caused companies to halt business immediately and some to shut down altogether resulting in millions of Americans going unpaid or losing their jobs altogether. The pause on foreclosures was a federal mandate put into place to help Americans from becoming homeless due to circumstances well beyond their control. 

Now that many businesses are back and workers have come back to work or found new work these moratoriums are no longer in place. As banks begin to act on past-due mortgage payments the foreclosure numbers are picking up for homeowners that would have probably been in trouble and faced foreclosure even if the pandemic never shut things down. 

The truth is foreclosures are still at a much lower rate than they were in the recession of the not-all-too-distant years of 2008 and 2009. With better lending practice laws in place and a low inventory of homes keeping them in high demand Granbury homeowners and others around the country have been able to sell properties instead of going into foreclosure. This paired with homeowners unable to continue making loan payments and able to sell their home for far more than they owe with a very high increase in equity has helped to keep foreclosure numbers low. 

Where Are the Most Zombie Foreclosures Located?

Reports show that the largest number of zombie foreclosures is present in the Midwest and rural areas of New York State. New York showed the highest ratio of zombie foreclosures with numbers around one in every 2115 homes sitting empty. The state of Ohio also has a large number of foreclosures at about one and every 3690 homes. In third place is Illinois, with one in every 4338 homes sitting empty.

Foreclosure numbers are growing across the country but the highest increases are not in Texas. Many Americans actually chose to move into Texas and other southern states which has also helped to boost the real estate market here in Granbury. While it is always good to be aware of what is happening in the real estate market this increase in foreclosures around the country is not as scary as some headlines would sell it.

If you are looking to buy or sell your Granbury home the best plan for success is to use a local real estate agent. I can help you with any of your Granbury real estate needs and help take the stress and scary feelings out of buying or selling a home in Granbury.

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