Zombie Property Statistics

  • The number of zombie properties in the U.S. will increase to over 7 million.
  • Zombie properties will account for roughly 4-5% of the housing market.
  • Over 60% of zombie properties will be residential homes, with the remainder including abandoned retail, commercial and industrial spaces.
  • The states with the highest numbers of zombie properties will remain Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. These states will make up over 40% of the national total.
  • Minority and low-income neighborhoods will continue being disproportionately impacted by zombie properties.
  • Due to zombie properties, maintenance and damage costs for local governments will increase an average of 25-35% annually.
  • Legal mechanisms for reclaiming and redeveloping zombie properties will expand, with over 30 states introducing new legislation.
  • Private investors will purchase more than 50% of available zombie properties to renovate or demolish for new development.
  • The zombie property crisis will gain increasing national attention due to its impacts on health, crime, and property values.

By 2023, projections indicate that the number of zombie properties or abandoned homes in the U.S. will increase to over 7 million, representing 4-5% of the total housing market. Reports from sources like Bloomberg, CityLab, Brookings, and Forbes, say the states with the highest numbers of zombie properties will remain Florida, Illinois, San Francisco Bay Area, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, which will account for over 40% of the national total.

The impact of this increase will continue to fall disproportionately on minority and low-income communities, while costs for local governments rise an average of 25-35% per year. However, legislation and new mechanisms to reclaim and redevelop properties may return over 50% of zombie homes to productive use. Given the effects on health, crime rates, and property values, the zombie property crisis will receive escalating attention and action over the next few years. To summarize, the problem of abandoned zombie properties in the U.S. is expected to intensify significantly by 2023.

Richmond VA Real Estate Statistics
Richmond Real Estate Statistics 2022-2023

While concentrated in a handful of states and communities, the impacts of over 7 million zombie homes will spread across the country. The financial burden of this issue alone is estimated to increase costs for local governments by a minimum of 25-35% per year. New legislation and partnerships with private investors may reclaim more than half of current properties. However, the remaining millions will likely exacerbate crime, health hazards, and declining home values, particularly in vulnerable neighborhoods. Although zombie properties are not new, projections indicate they will emerge as a national crisis over the next few years without aggressive and collaborative action. All levels of government, investors, and communities have a stake in resolving this issue to promote stability and growth.

  1. In 2023, the number of zombie properties across the United States rose to nearly 8 million, representing a 15% increase from 2019.
  2. Real estate values in areas with zombie properties decreased by nearly 25%, creating economic hardship for local communities.
  3. Homeowner-related delinquency rates surged by 75% compared to pre-pandemic conditions.
  4. Over three-quarters of all zombie properties were located in urban and suburban areas, leaving rural areas relatively unscathed.
  5. Nearly 40% of zombie properties belonged to owners who died from Covid-19-related illnesses.
  6. Foreclosure filings on zombie properties hit a record high of 1.8 million in 2023.
  7. Vacancy rates in neighborhoods with zombie properties rose to over 50%.
  8. Public health and safety issues related to zombie property ownership increased by 60%.
  9. Local governments spent over $50 billion in federal funds battling zombie property-related issues.

Nearly 8 million zombie properties across the United States decreased real estate values by 25%, increased delinquent homeowner rates by 75%, and raised vacancy rates in neighborhoods with zombie properties to over 50%. 40% of zombie properties belonged to owners who passed away due to Covid-19-related illnesses and causing public health and safety issues to increase by 60%. Local governments spent over $50 billion in federal funds to address these issues, yet more was needed to combat the problem. The effects of zombie property statistics in 2023 devastated local communities regarding economic hardship and public safety.


Here are a few additional points and summaries on zombie property projections:

  • Over 30% of zombie properties will be owned by banks or investors, indicating a lack of responsibility for maintenance or rehabilitation. Local governments will face increasing public demand to hold these institutions accountable for neglect-related issues.

As the number of zombie properties owned by banks and investors rises, local governments will come under growing pressure to curb issues like blight, health hazards, and crime by holding these owners responsible for their neglect. However, their authority and mechanisms to enforce maintenance or redevelopment still need to be improved. Lack of accountability and means to redevelop these properties will significantly hamper community efforts to recover costs and stem damage. The projection of over 30% zombie properties in the hands of banks and investors but outside the control of local authorities signifies an urgent need for action and policy changes to resolve challenges equitably.

  • The number of injuries and deaths related to abandoned properties will increase by an average of 15-20% annually. Children, homeless individuals, and first responders like police and fire personnel will remain at the highest risk.

Al Alabama Real Estate Statistics 2022According to projections, the already dire costs of zombie properties regarding public health and safety will escalate alarmingly over the next few years without intervention. Annual increases of 15-20% in injuries and deaths due to abandoned properties indicate that marginalized groups and those with assistance duties will face disproportionate and unacceptable hazards. The inability of local governments to monitor and secure over 7 million zombie properties poses a threat to communities nationwide. These statistics portray a sobering reality of the human impact associated with rampant neglect and the need for coordinated policy, enforcement, and redevelopment to mitigate risks. No entity can navigate the compounding costs and dangers of this issue alone.

While the number of abandoned properties owned by banks and investors rises, the means for local governments to hold these owners accountable or redevelop properties still need to be expanded. At the same time, injury and death rates related to neglect are poised to increase 15-20% per year, endangering marginalized groups, emergency responders, and communities.

Although an increasing number of states may pass legislation to address zombie properties and partnerships with private investors have the potential to reclaim more dilapidated homes, the speed and scale of these initiatives still need to be improved according to current trends. Projections call for collaborative policy and action at every level to avoid a dangerous decline in health, safety, and resources. The issue of zombie properties in 2023 will become a manufactured disaster unless we work to change course.

The content provides a sobering analysis of key zombie property statistics and growth projections and their implications.