Mortgage rates, loan limits and forbearance

We cover the increase in conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie and what forbearance numbers and record-low rates could mean for the housing market.

Untying business growth from the housing market cycle

Lenders need business growth that is not linear and is not tied to the market cycles – leveraging automation technology can help.

The practical use of AI for LOs

The combination of tightly-packed schedules and intensive oversight means augmenting loan officer’s efforts with intelligent systems is more relevant than ever.

HousingWire's 2020 Tech Trendsetters

This year’s list of Tech Trendsetters certainly earned their status as the industry was met with incredible challenges and new opportunities.

Real Estate

ATTOM: Zombie foreclosures are ticking down

The amount of vacant homes in the U.S. continues to sit at a lull, slowly ticking down, according to a new data set from ATTOM Data Solutions.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, there were 1,527,142 single-family homes and condos left vacant, representing 1.5% of homes in the U.S.

In Q3, 1.6% of homes were vacant in the U.S., meaning there was a small tick down in the vacant home sector in this quarter.

According to the report, there were about 288,300 homes in the process of foreclosure, with 8,535 considered empty, also known as zombie foreclosures.

This is down to 2.96%, compared to the 3.2% of properties in Q3.

“The fourth quarter of 2019 was a repeat of the third quarter when it came to properties abandoned by owners facing foreclosure: the scourge continued to fade. One of the most visible signs of the housing market crash during the Great Recession keeps receding into the past,” said Todd Teta, chief product officer with ATTOM Data Solutions.

“While pockets of zombie foreclosures remain, neighborhoods throughout the country are confronting fewer and fewer of the empty, decaying properties that were symbolic of the fallout from the housing market crash during the recession,” Teta said.

Washington, D.C. continues to have the highest percentage of zombie foreclosures, at 10.5%. Kansas (7.9%); Oregon (7.9%); Montana (7.4%); Maine (6.7%) and New Mexico (5.8%) are all states that sit above the national average of zombie foreclosures, which is 2.9%.

New York had the highest number of zombie properties, with 2,266. Florida followed with 1,461; Illinois with 892; Ohio with 823 and New Jersey with 398. However, these numbers were all lower than they were in Q3.

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