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Number Of SoCal 'Zombie' Homes Drops By Half

LOS ANGELES ( — "Zombie homes" in Southern California are finally moving off the markets.

KNX 1070's Ed Mertz reports a new report shows the number of homes located in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana region that were at some stage in the foreclosure process has dropped over 50 percent since this time last year.

In Southern California, there were over 33,000 homes in foreclosure, with just over 1,800 considered "zombie" homes - those homes actively in the foreclosure process which had been vacated by the homeowners prior to a completed foreclosure, according to RealtyTrac's "Zombie Foreclosure Report".

These vacant properties will likely end up as short sales, foreclosure auction sales or bank-owned sales in the future, according to RealtyTrac vice president Darren Bloomquist.

Nationwide, there were nearly 117,300 owner-vacated foreclosures nationwide in third quarter of 2014, down 17 percent from 141,406 in the second quarter of 2014 and down 23 percent from 152,033 in the third quarter of 2013.

Bloomquist said the data can likely be attributed to the fact that banks are finally starting to deal with foreclosures and listing them for sale.

"This is good for neighbors who finally can see the vacant foreclosure home in their neighborhood is gonna get into the hands of a new homeowner, who will mow the lawn, water the lawn, maybe give the home a fresh coat of paint," he said.

Contrary to the national trend, 16 states saw increases in owner-vacated foreclosures compared to a year ago, including New Jersey (up 75 percent), North Carolina (up 65 percent), Oklahoma (up 37 percent), and New York (up 30 percent) and Alabama (up 29 percent), according to Bloomquist.

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