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The Vacant Dead: One In Five Foreclosed Homes Is A Vacant Zombie

Tyler Durden's picture


The latest foreclosure news out of RealtyTrac is out, and provides the latest proof that if there is a housing recovery somewhere, it sure isn't in the US, where the dislocations in the supply/demand for real estate are so profound that one in five homes in the foreclosure process has been vacated by the distressed homeowner. To wit: "As of the first quarter of 2014, a total of 152,033 U.S. properties in the foreclosure process (excluding bank-owned properties) had been vacated by the distressed homeowner, representing 21 percent of all properties in the foreclosure process." This means that neither the distressed homeowner or the foreclosing lender taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the home, leading to a veritable army of Vacant Dead housing units that are spreading like zombies across the nation in the most improbable housing "recovery" of all time.

Quote Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac:

"The biggest threat from foreclosures going forward is properties that have been lingering in the foreclosure process for years, many of them vacant with neither the distressed homeowner or the foreclosing lender taking responsibility for maintenance and upkeep of the home — or at the very least facilitating a sale to a new homeowner more likely to perform needed upkeep and maintenance.


“One in every five homes in the foreclosure process nationwide have been vacated by the distressed homeowner, but it is closer to one in three foreclosures in some cities,” Blomquist added. “These properties drag down home values in the surrounding neighborhood and contribute to a climate of uncertainty and low inventory in local housing markets.”

Some other findings:

  • States with the most owner-vacated foreclosures were Florida with 54,908 (36 percent of the national total, Illinois (15,512), New York (10,880), New Jersey (8,595), and Ohio (7,780).
  • States with the highest foreclosure rates in February were Florida, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and Illinois.
  • Nine of the top 10 metro foreclosure rates in February were posted by cities in Florida, along with Atlantic City, N.J., where overall foreclosure activity increased 254 percent from a year ago.
  • Among the nation’s 20 most populated metro areas, the highest foreclosure rates were in Tampa, Miami, Baltimore, Riverside-San Bernardino in Southern California, and Chicago. Only four of the 20 largest metro areas posted annual increases in foreclosure activity: New York (up 77 percent), Philadelphia (up 20 percent), Washington, D.C. (up 19 percent), and Baltimore (up 14 percent).

And visually:


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Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:36 | 4542780 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

We laugh at immaculate ghost cities in china while ignoring increasing houses and neighborhoods rotting across the continent. LMAO.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:49 | 4542850 Rainman
Rainman's picture

Doctor Bubble says : " Canadian housing debt ratios make the USA look like a frugal uncle. "

Prices up 80% in the last decade.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:55 | 4542860 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Let's just step back for a second and look at the big picture. The world's population is increasing by 80 million people every year. Over the next few decades America is going to need tens of millions of immigrants to fuel our growing eoconomy. Where are these people going to live? As a country we simply do not have the capacity to house our ever growing population. Countries like China are building ahead of the curve in preperation for this eventuality. If our government doesn't start investing in contruction projects soon, we may find ourselves with a serious housing shortage in coming years. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:58 | 4542890 MillionDollarBonus_
MillionDollarBonus_'s picture

Owning a house is an investment. My financial advice to young people is to get a mortgage as early as possible and start paying it off. You don't want to be paying off someone else's bond. You want to be investing in your future by paying off your most valuable asset.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:19 | 4543006 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

MDB, please tell me your responses are satire.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:52 | 4543173 dryam
dryam's picture

MDB / Fed surrogate,

A house is a depreciating asset

Houses in the U.S. are too big for what a real economy can support.  In the future people will live in much, much smaller housing units and they will be living with multiple (generational) family members under one roof.


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:53 | 4543202 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

What do you mean "future"?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:01 | 4543618 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

a house is a liability

end of story

it is neither an asset nor an investment

and on the subject of abandoned foreclosures, NY state has a law forcing local municipalities to maintain them

law is mentioned in this report

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:02 | 4543245 Okienomics
Okienomics's picture

"A house is a depreciating asset."


Dryam, a house is an income-producing asset and the depreciation is a write-off.  Come to think of it, the category of depreciating assets also includes machine tools, farm equipment, extruders, steel mills - are you advocating 'purely financial' non-depreciating assets as the way to go?  If so, would that be Wall Street or metals? I own some of each and am glad to have income-producing real-estate in my portfolio to enable a bit of extra stacking.  Unfortunately, (insert boating accident text here).

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:29 | 4543409 Ironmaan
Ironmaan's picture

Anything you can rent is an income producing asset, but the house you live in is anything but income producing. It is an "asset" that continually siphons money out of your wallet. Taxes, mortgage, maintenance, time, insurance, HOA. You will never recoup your expenses relying on appreciation. Just add up all the tools you buy for up keep. Lawnmover, shovels etc.. Its a complete money pit.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:39 | 4544203 balanced
balanced's picture

What Ironmaan said. The house in which you live is a liability. Obviously rentals are different. As the Rich Dad, Poor Dad guy says, If it generates income each month, it's an asset. If it costs you money each month, it's a liability.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 16:24 | 4544742 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

Third generation builder.

Houses are stupid big.

Many have two or one person in them. Few people have the skill to maintain them. Heck, half dont even mow their own lawns.

Garages used to have work benches with a vice. Now, unused his and hers Chinese mountain bikes.

I do a fair amount od post auction buff ups for future sales. Most os the houses have significant black mold, rodent infestation, destroyed heating systems from 4-5 years of New England weather. $20-30k damage because the bank didnt want to spend $500/yr in heat. The so-called winterization is a scam.( a good job done has cut pipes allowing full blow outs and natural evaporation of residual water. Its easier to tourch couplings then punching holes everywhere.)

Lastly, what ever happened to small is beautiful?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 16:43 | 4544845 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Garages used to have work benches with a vice. Now, unused his and hers Chinese mountain bikes."

Well, my workbench has a vise.

I'm the one with a vice (or two).


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:04 | 4543993 tiger uppercut
tiger uppercut's picture

Please tell me you're not really asking this.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:26 | 4543043 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That is sound, accredited advice. With interest rates so low, this is also the very best time to buy.

Young people should also buy more than one house whenever possible, as nothing beats rental properties for long term investment.

Don't listen to the gloom-and-doomers whose denigration of the recovery is growing tiresome. That's just ignorance. The increase in automobile inventory is the result of a renaissance in US manufacturing which cannot be denied. We're in the middle of one of the biggest peacetime economic expansions in history.

Young people take note: the only people who will warn you away from this opportunity are your elders. Even if they mean well, it is just a subconscious expression of their jealousy of never having had such an opportunity for prosperity in their youth.

Real estate is the train to riches, and the conductor has just yelled, "all aboard." Don't be left standing at the station of regret.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:04 | 4543264 N2OJoe
N2OJoe's picture

I would also note that there is no safer investment than .gov bonds and if you have an appetite for slightly more risk(though not really) you can get even  biggerer returns if you just BTFAH on the S&P!

Of course, the only way to get that much capital is to load up on non-dischargable student loan debt, before you load up on mortgage debt, before you load up on car loan debt, before you load up margin debt.

Then, and ONLY THEN, you will be living the Murican Dream!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:24 | 4544102 RaceToTheBottom
RaceToTheBottom's picture

Debt should be treated as an asset to be maximized.......

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:49 | 4543162 Okienomics
Okienomics's picture

Satire or not, the alternatives are living with Mom & Dad or adding to someone else's equity.  If you're going to spend the money anyway, it does make sense to build your own equity.  Yes, we now know home prices can decline, and with the Fed pumping trillions into buying MBS, it's possible home values will drop when they stop (will they ever stop?).  But those same risks are present whether you own $, Au, Ag, equities or (insert your investment of choice here).  Read Ferfal; owning real property was an income source in Argentina during their prior monetary crisis.  During the 'great recession' the rental property we owned stayed occupied and I don't know and didn't much care whether valuations were up or down - the rent checks kept coming.  So I'll add this advice to MDB's... if you do buy a house, make it one you can keep after you move out.  Of the houses I've bought over the years, the only regret I really ever had was the one that I sold. Had I kept it, both my income and my personal balance sheet would be higher today.  Slow and steady wins the race, boys, and you gotta live somewhere.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:07 | 4543643 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

tumbleweed tiny houses

other than that, buy a rental or get a modest little house where the taxes are low

exactly 30 days from today, i move to my little home in the middle of nowhere with combined school and property tax of 361 dollars a year

so close i can taste it

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:16 | 4543680 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

That's why you the boss Okie.  If you wanna hedge you can sell one property and buy more PM's than most can stack in a lifetime.  After the reset you'll be an even bigger boss.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:31 | 4543415 Rukeysers Ghost
Rukeysers Ghost's picture

You want to be investing in your future by paying off your most valuable asset.


Ever hear of taxes and upkeep? You never pay off your house because it will still be costing you money after the bank note is payed off. It is just a more economical alternative for housing than renting in most cases.

Now income properties are a whole different deal. They generate income while paying all these endless costs.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:00 | 4542910 r101958
r101958's picture

......aaaaah, the reason for the big push by the pols for the blanket amnesty program. Now I get it.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:02 | 4542920 PartysOver
PartysOver's picture

You are asuming our economy is growing fast enough to support the need for immigrants.    I am not in that camp.  You are also assuming that the income of these potential immgrants will quailify them for a mortgage with now stricter underwriting guidelines.  I am not in that camp.

If I were to purchase a second home it damn sure would not be in the US!!!


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:11 | 4542971 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

speaking of which. I'd be interested to know ( in addition to the private equity firms ) just how much the chinese and russians ( whom it seems the political class in the US have unbridled disdain for ) through their wealthy offshoring their wealth have served to buttress real estate values in the US.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:31 | 4543083 Osmium
Osmium's picture

There would be serious consequences to the Government in the USA building housing.  Can you say "Cabrini–Green"?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:46 | 4543874 Steaming_Wookie_Doo
Steaming_Wookie_Doo's picture

Well, there's certainly consequences to build housing and allowing people to live in it who don't bother to do anything but sit on their butts, smoking weed and collecting various gubmint checks. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:03 | 4543984 reTARD
reTARD's picture

MDB, if "we" build it "they" will come and fill it even if they have no money. Call it sub-prime living, LOL.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:53 | 4542870 Canadian Dirtlump
Canadian Dirtlump's picture

Read it yesterday. No one wants the canadian housing market to shit the fucking bed while having a grand mal seizure more than I do man.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:22 | 4543376 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Too many homes were built. All results of the artifical credit boom caused by Fiat currency. We are now in the early bust stage.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:37 | 4542782 BobPaulson
BobPaulson's picture

Squatter's heaven.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:38 | 4542789 Racer
Racer's picture

The greatest con the banksters ever pulled:

Convincing people to 'buy' a house, when in fact they do not own it at all, the bank owns it and has forced the responsibilty for its upkeep and all the bills over onto the moronic slave

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:41 | 4542805 Ironmaan
Ironmaan's picture

Not to mention you then become even more of a tax donkey for the state.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:49 | 4542848 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

Not to mention the insurance on a vacant house is 3x-to-5x higher then an occupied one.

"House Flipping Gone Bad," is the new TV series coming later this Spring.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:48 | 4542844 yogibear
yogibear's picture

In places like NJ and Illinois around the cities the property taxes are so high it's getting to be like a mortgage payment. Trying to find a sucker to buy your property can be tough so they'll be stuck with ever increasong higher taxes.

You don't own the property, the local county owns it.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:58 | 4542889 richsob
richsob's picture

So what's the alternative?  Live in a cave?  People want a house, they borrow money to buy it and pay for the damn thing....preferably as fast as they can so the banker earns less interest on the loan.  Nothing wrong with that unless someone is too stupid to buy what they can afford.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:21 | 4543015 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

RS, it is called renting. I am a proud renter and do not worry about the issues mentioned above.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:52 | 4543192 richsob
richsob's picture

And I am a proud home owner who took out a mortgage, paid it off 18 years early and now enjoy my home debt free.  We ALL pay real estate taxes....even renters who pay them as part of their rent payments.  

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:28 | 4543419 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

Except, even you, don't really own it. You only "rent it" as well by paying real estate taxes. 

Personal property, aka. real estate taxes should be outlawed as well as the ability of homeowner associations to put liens on you. If you "own" it, you "own" it, and no entity can or should ever change that. 

The Government, state, local, federal should only be permitted to levy and collect a consumption tax at time of sale. No other tax should be permitted because it always leads in one direction - abuse. Might return Congress to the part time job it was supposed to be in the first place.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:08 | 4543644 Pinefox
Pinefox's picture

Why we ever allowed ourselves to be taxed on an unrealized gain is beyond me.  Dumb.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:34 | 4543796 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"Except, even you, don't really own it. You only "rent it" as well by paying real estate taxes. "

That is a true statement - you cannot argue against it.  But (and there is always a but), if you choose an area where the taxes are low and your property is not subject to the typical boom/bust cycle (typically those places are one and the same) then owning a home can be a winning proposition.  I paid for my acreage in five years (45 ac.).  I then paid cash for a repo'ed doublewide that had not been lived in (not even delivered).  I pay cash for all improvements (3 car 2 story garage, 2 barns, fencing, etc.) and all of my vehicles and tractors/other farm equipment and cattle.  My taxes on all of this are less than $1k per year (about $924 in 2013).  So, if I decide to sell in a few years, I can at least break even.  By that, I mean subtract all taxes paid during the time I owned it, minus depreciation on the structures, minus the little bit of interest paid during the five years I financed, repairs, etc.

Now, how much return can you get  when you choose to move to another leased property?

The key here is to be realistic and live within your means.  We had a five-year plan to be debt-free and implemented it.  That was 15 years ago.......

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:58 | 4543234 El Diablo Rojo
El Diablo Rojo's picture

I too rent. However, this is my hot button topic here on ZH.  I would love to be able to buy a home at a reasonable price, where my mortgage payment is lower than my rent.  This unfortunately will not happen in Temecula, Ca. (mentioned above in the article Riverside County CA).  The nice houses are purchased by cash buyers, and are flipped within 6 months with at least 100K bump.  No matter how quick I am to put an offer on a listed property in the last 2 years, within momemts of it being listed it has a sale pending notification. This is Absolute utter insider private club bullshit.  The banks are on the take.

I fuck'n hate these guys.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:32 | 4543787 object_orient
object_orient's picture

I had the same problem in San Bernardino county in 2009-10. You might get lucky eventually but probably not. Get to know the smaller investment groups and arrange a deal where they quickly flip to you, without doing any work, for a modest fee - say 15-20k. That's a nice take for sitting on a house until your escrow closes. Arms length transactions are so antiquated. Everybody cheats now. Fun times.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:41 | 4542791 Payne
Payne's picture

The FED owns most of the REOs and the yet to be foreclosed properties it an attempt to lift Real Estate markets.  It is working, sort of, don't expect it to last.

I have lists of people living in homes for 2-5 years with no attempt to Foreclose anymore, can't get them to sell short or otherwise.  Homeowners Associations have a 20% default rate on dues the only way they get the Banks to foreclose and start paying the bills it by going through Foreclosure themselves which is just added expenses.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:59 | 4542885 Almost Solvent
Almost Solvent's picture

I know a single mom that hasn't made a mortgage payment since 2009. FIVE YEARS.


And it's a relativley nice suburb - not some inner city junk.


The "Pass Through Certificates" plaintiff started a forecloure action in 2011 - hasn't followed up and I think the lis pendens is expiring.


She pays the property taxes each year since the County is still foreclosing on people that don't pay their taxes.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:29 | 4543060 saltedGold
saltedGold's picture

My friend almost made it 3 years without paying his mortgage.  Started when he lost his job and was out of work for 8 months.  Once he got a new job, he tried to work with the bank to renegotiate terms so he could afford to keep paying, but they wanted nothing of it.  So he just worked and lived until they kicked him out.  He kept the place clean and well maintained, so when the bank finally evicted him, they paid him $3,000 for keeping his place nice and an incentive to move out by a particular date. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:31 | 4543435 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

This. Massive system breakdown underway. 


I have lists of people living in homes for 2-5 years with no attempt to Foreclose anymore, can't get them to sell short or otherwise. Homeowners Associations have a 20% default rate on dues the only way they get the Banks to foreclose and start paying the bills it by going through Foreclosure themselves which is just added expenses.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:39 | 4542793 auntiesocial
auntiesocial's picture

the fine print- EXCLUDING REO's - that is why buying in Orange County and other affluent areas is a farce right now. 

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:40 | 4542795 Ironmaan
Ironmaan's picture

So when is the bust going to happen? Prices in Florida are still rather high.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:53 | 4542864 Droid Fuel
Droid Fuel's picture

FL homebuilding is exploding right now.  There is not enough labor to keep up with demand.  I left commercial construction to get back into home building and ride this wave as long as it will last.   There are currently waiting lists for our communities so don't expect the prices to go down any time soon.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:05 | 4542936 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Houses are exploding in Harlem too!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:18 | 4542999 krispkritter
krispkritter's picture

I heard the market is booming...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:07 | 4542944 Droid Fuel
Droid Fuel's picture

I voted down on my own post.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:04 | 4543992 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

That's hilarious.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:15 | 4542988 Okienomics
Okienomics's picture

TX going strong in our burb too. Mrs. Okie is HOA Pres. and has to sign off on each and every resale certificate. Houses here selling within hours of listing, not an exaggeration, with offers over asking price and running 15% higher than 2005 prices. Yet we still have a vacant foreclosure sitting in the neighborhood, folks we know who've basically disappeared. Junk me if you want, but we can account for one of those properties in the article, and its not hurt valuations in the slightest. Also interesting, we're seeing an uncomfortable number of owners named Mohammed.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:04 | 4542933 Droid Fuel
Droid Fuel's picture

FL homebuilding is exploding right now.  There is not enough labor to keep up with demand.  I left commercial construction to get back into home building and ride this wave as long as it will last.   There are currently waiting lists for our communities so don't expect the prices to go down any time soon.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:35 | 4543108 TheFourthStooge-ing
TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

That's solid, on-the-ground info, not some theoretical claptrap from an Ivory League bureaucrat.

I'll bet that the people at would be interested in an eyewitness account from someone who is a part of the resurgent residential construction economy.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:40 | 4542801 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

yep.  I have one in my neighborhood.  it has been that way.  In a few months it will have stood vacant for 7 years.  it has not gone to sheriff's sale yet.  thank you Countrywide.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:58 | 4542891 konputa
konputa's picture

One? Man, I've got four on my street. There are houses here that have been abandoned since 2008.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:39 | 4543124 Ignatius J Reilly
Ignatius J Reilly's picture

One can be a lot.  Depends on the neighborhood.  Vegas probably has whole streets that are vacant.  I think 153k is probably an understatement.


But the point both of us are making (if you will allow me...) these properties are NOT up for sale.  they are NOT in the inventory.  therefore, the market CANNOT reach real pricing discovery until they are.

end. of. story.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:41 | 4542808 licutis
licutis's picture

yeah demo them or trickle them out to the flippers at high prices, lets make sure young people don't get the opportunity to buy them.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:42 | 4542813 22winmag
22winmag's picture

Couldn't have done it without Frank Raines, Fannie, and Freddie!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:35 | 4543106 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:48 | 4542841 Postal
Postal's picture

But even pretend that you're in the market to buy, and suddenly everybody expects you to make them whole. The idea that I'm not going to pay overinflated prices to cover their bad bet is lost on them.

But the expression on the relator's face when my opening salvo is 50% of list is priceless.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:48 | 4542845 Richard Whitney
Richard Whitney's picture

What was this number ten years ago?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:52 | 4542847 Downtoolong
Downtoolong's picture

one in five homes in the foreclosure process has been vacated by the distressed homeowner.

And many of these are strategic defaults where the homeowner can pay, but realizes they would be better off financially if they just walk instead. We had two of these cases in my community of about 500 homes.

Fortunately those two abandoned homes sold quickly. In most cases they do not, and the depressed value of the distressed home immediately spreads to every other home in the community. This is the really sinister and economically unfair part of it all. For every dollar the banksters, realtors, and gamblers ever hoped to make off their folly (funded by cheap Fed money printing of course), it is now costing the rest of us thousands of dollars.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:58 | 4542897 r101958
r101958's picture

.....and take 100% of the homes "in the foreclosure process", multiply that number by 3 and you have the true number of 'distressed properties'. These are the homes that the banks are holding out of "the foreclosure process" so they can continue to show them on the books as assets (not to mention marking them to fantasy vs marking to market).

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:29 | 4543064 optimator
optimator's picture

Exactly.  I've two in my neighborhood, one bank owned for 6 years, one for four years.  I'm sure the bank pays for the taxes and minimal landscaping.  Lot of folks want to buy those homes but the banks simply say "Not for sale at this time".  

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:38 | 4543480 JLee2027
JLee2027's picture

 it is now costing the rest of us thousands of dollars.

You're looking at it the wrong way. Don't blame a homeowner for not paying. Too many homes were built in the temporary credit boom from the 1970's to 2000s fueled by cheap money and lowering interest rates. The ride up was phony, artifical and temporary. The ride down will not be pleasant and is unavoidable.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:49 | 4542849 MillionDollarBoner_
MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Paradise NV



Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:50 | 4542852 youngman
youngman's picture

To buy one you not only need the downpayment..but another big chunk of change to get it back to a liveable condition...and its always buyer beware with a foreclosure

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:52 | 4542859 Cursive
Cursive's picture

1 in 5 is still 80% occupied and, when you think about it, that's like a "B" in school (assuming you follow the 10-point grading scale).  And, c'mon, who doesn't feel happy with a "B" these days?

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:09 | 4542954 Postal
Postal's picture

I'd be happy to feel a couple of "B"s...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:32 | 4543087 saltedGold
saltedGold's picture

Right now, I need some double "D"s...

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:54 | 4542873 ShrNfr
ShrNfr's picture

Does this include the foreclosed house near Detroit where they found the owner dead after 5 years had passed in the back seat of her car? Zombie for real.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:56 | 4542882 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

Great at Halloween!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 10:58 | 4542896 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Long SNI and products advertised on HGTV rehab shows.

Price up 100% since 2011 crash.


Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:10 | 4542959 Billy Sol Estes
Billy Sol Estes's picture

Nicole Curtis, bitches.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:03 | 4542919 Flounder
Flounder's picture

TD, tks for posting this.  Nobody likes to see their neighborhoods blighted and unfortunately its happening more frequently in otherwise nice communities.  I blame all govt housing programs and the fed.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:09 | 4542956 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

yeah you can get true value for a house in this market

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:21 | 4543020 Stormtower
Stormtower's picture

I live in the Tampa Bay market, you'd never know we had ANY shadow inventory. The banks have them locked out of the market. Realtors constantly tell me there's NO inventory. Unbelievable!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:26 | 4543047 Itchy and Scratchy
Itchy and Scratchy's picture

There was less inventory in 2007!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:43 | 4543146 homiegot
homiegot's picture

Keeps prices up, yo.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:29 | 4543066 atomicwasted
atomicwasted's picture

You have to keep this in perspective.  150,000 homes in a nation of 300 million people is a drop in the bucket.  It's statistical noise.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:54 | 4543921 Iam_Silverman
Iam_Silverman's picture

"It's statistical noise."

Unless one or two, or a dozen of them are in your neighborhood.

Then, it's relevant.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:47 | 4543135 Kasperfx
Kasperfx's picture


the banks are playing shell games  with their invetory, their creating straw man/companies  and creating a a mirage of demand by selling to the  "all cash buyers" who are actually themselves . this is were the all cash and sales numbers are oming from , it's one crazy world
Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:46 | 4543154 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Two years ago I'd say this chart is backwards, the real problem was "double-zombies", mre upside-down mortgages and even abandoned homes than there are foreclosures, the banks didn't have the bandwidth to foreclose them all, anyway the fed told them not to.

Today - this zombie problem seems pretty localized, mostly Florida, mostly limited to top 10 neighborhoods nationwide.  What I've seen in Los Angeles is you get a vacant home for just a few months in the process, so maybe 10% are vacant at any time but not for any long period.

So I wonder if the double-zombie problem isn't still the larger problem and the bigger fraud.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:48 | 4543170 rlouis
rlouis's picture

Some quick napkin level math on Las Vegas vacant homes:

2955 vacant foreclosures

16 homes per acre = 184 acres   sure it could be R32 but did not include the streets and sidewalks

184 x 43,650 sq. ft. per acre = 8,031,600 sq ft.

sq root of 8,031,600 = 2,834  =  a square greater than 1/2 mile per side.

That's one heck of a lot of wasted capital.



Thu, 03/13/2014 - 11:53 | 4543201 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

Who is paying the inflated property taxes to keep the public taker thugs food on the table ????

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:10 | 4543299 maskone909
maskone909's picture

part of the narrative was to get home prices to a level where folks could take out 2nd mortgages and HELOC's.  this was supposed to compensate for the lack of jobs and to help people spend their equity to prop up the economy.  the problem is that it only worked so long.  housing is everything in this farce we call an economy.  once the floor falls from beneath it, its going to get REALLY ugly.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:14 | 4543318 Catullus
Catullus's picture

If it's a vacant house not maintained for years and needs to be repaired, then it's not really part of the inventory as a home. It's land, but probably the POS needs to be torn down. It doesn't depress the price if it's not part of the supply, these vacants DECREASE the supply of housing, giving support to prices.

Rotten apples aren't part of the apple supply. Vacant, damaged homes that were once McMansions, aren't part of that class of housing any longer. Especially in Florida where nature takes it back quickly. Plus, as some of you have pointed out, the construction is so bad that you 5-7 years without living in these things is going to turn them to garbage anyway.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:15 | 4543330 andrewp111
andrewp111's picture

A total of 150K in the whole US is nothing. This is noise. The absolute number of foreclosures and REOs are now very low.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 12:55 | 4543494 evernewecon
evernewecon's picture






The late '70's' (everyone's mailing 

in the keys/hey, there's another

bankrupt S & L) Resolution Trust Corp

enabled bubble sellers and new buyers

to clear the market.


This time round is bubble sellers 

paying for loss sharing holding 

borrowers' feet to the fire, and

endless kicking of the can down the

road in tandem with QE and real neg

rates for savers, including on 

bubble sale proceeds.


So the vacancies are Fed financed

manipulated supply.


That artificially raises prices

(for me it makes more sense for a 

bubble seller to wait out the folly

than to pay up to essentially a 

fixed price) and causes more newbies

to stay at home with Mom/Dad and

others, sector-wide, to go homeless.


A town in S. Car. taxes feeding the

homeless, a foreclosure firm mocked 

them comedy skit-like, Bloomberg said

don't feed the homeless kugel--let them

just go hungry like untended 

sea otters at the park--going hungry's

simply painful and at a point any

sustenance helps, but I don't know,

maybe next time the rabbi should

add egg white and blend in a little

whole grain:


 and here's







But even that one doesn't get to the

part about manipulated supply raising

rents that are then taxpayer supported,

when democracy and cooperation and 

education and health should replace

pyramidal economics.


In health, unmet need's a little 

different.  It ends up in the emergency

room most the time, ultimately (often

too late.)  And that's always been 

built into everyone else's premiums.


More's premium captured now, but 

the latter's primal, with the 

coverage the pre-texted Simpson-

Bowles like pressure release valve.



the 5/10% equity put down'rs

should have non-recourse, the

banks skin in the game.






Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:22 | 4543717 NEOSERF
NEOSERF's picture

152K homes x $152K avg mortgage is uhmmmm, a big la recovery!!

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 13:37 | 4543817 flacorps
flacorps's picture

Just a quick anecdote from the front lines in the #4 foreclosure market in the country (Tampa/St. Pete). I live in a nice development of around 1,000 homes about 20 miles north of downtown Tampa. The area is still pretty rural except for the subdivisions that dot it. Exurbs, not suburbs.

Maybe 10% of our homes are in some stage of foreclosure, but 5% or so are vacant. The vacancies are largely untended.

Men in our subdivision banded together on Facebook, and every few weeks a handful of us attack one of the most neglected homes with mowers, clippers, pressure washers, etc.

We did one a couple of weeks ago (when I say "we" I have to confess I didn't make it to this job). Got it looking good. THE BANK'S PEOPLE TAUGHT US. THEY SHOWED UP A FEW DAYS LATER AND REMOVED EVERY BIT OF SHRUBBERY FROM THE PROPERTY.

Apparently serfs are not permitted to improve their situations.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 14:31 | 4544145 balanced
balanced's picture

A relative of mine (it's complicated), living in what used to be a $400k home on the water in St. Petersburg, Fl, hasn't made a mortgage payment in over 2 years. They haven't evicted her yet.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 16:37 | 4544814 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

The banksters haven't had time to fabricate a new note or allonge yet.  They've outsourced the robo-forgery to India.  Give them time.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 15:18 | 4544421 waterhorse
waterhorse's picture

The Kill and Cure "Solutions" left out the part about MERS clouding title to the property.

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 16:38 | 4544822 Keloid
Keloid's picture

Japanese refugees from irradiated Tokyo could move here and establish a viable automobile manufacturing industry. Detroit could rise again. Ninjas could eliminate threat from Dearborn as a thank you.

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