S.C. among highest for number of abandoned foreclosures in the nation

Staff Report
Published July 24, 2013

With more than 4,000 abandoned homes in foreclosure, South Carolina was among states with the most owner-vacated homes in distress, according to a report released last week.

South Carolina has the ninth-most abandoned homes in foreclosure with 4,155 and just ahead of Georgia with 4,022.

Top states with vacant foreclosures
The numbers hardly compare to the top-five states in the report from national real estate tracking company, RealtyTrac. At No. 1 in the nation, Florida had the most abandoned foreclosures with more than 55,500, the report found. The No. 2 state, Illinois, had 17,672. The other three in the top five had more than 9,000 abandoned foreclosures.

Foreclosures where owners simply walk away from the property account for 20% of all foreclosures in the U.S. as of June, RealtyTrac said. With more than 817,000 properties in the U.S. with at least a notice of default, abandoned properties account for about 167,000 foreclosures nationwide. Most of those homes, 33%, are in Florida, RealtyTrac said.

Additionally, more than 500,000 homes have already been repossessed by banks but have not been resold to a third party, RealtyTrac said, which brings inventory through a foreclosure, short sale or repossession to nearly 1.4 million.

Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac, said many of the homes have remained off the market because efforts to reduce the number of foreclosures either through legislation or loan modification has resulted in a sales process that takes well over a year. But eventually these homes will hit the market.

“Even if all these homes flooded the market simultaneously they would likely not cause the once-feared double dip in prices given supply constraints from non-distressed sellers and stronger demand,” Blomquist said in an analysis of the report.

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