Nearly 1.4 million residential properties were vacant as of the end of the third quarter, according to the Attom Data Solutions Residential Vacant Property and Zombie Foreclosure Report.
The vacant property rate increased in 54% of local housing markets despite the 1.58% vacant property rate being down from 1.63% a year ago.
The number of zombie foreclosure properties, which have started the process but have yet to be repossessed by the foreclosing lender, decreased year-over-year by 22% to 14,312 properties at the end of the third quarter.
"Zombie foreclosures have dwindled dramatically over the last four years as a supply-starved housing has soaked up even some of the most highly distressed properties," said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at Attom Data Solutions, in a press release.
"There are still pockets of the country with high zombie foreclosure rates, and high vacant property rates in general, primarily in the Rust Belt and parts of the Northeast and Southeast, driven in large part by a high share of non-owner-occupied vacant properties in those areas," he continued.
For ZIP codes with the highest vacancy rates, one in four residential properties is vacant. These are led by the 46409, 46407 and 46402 ZIP codes in Gary, Ind., 48505 in Flint, Mich., and 44507 in Youngstown, Ohio.
About 9% of ZIP codes have no residential properties; among the metropolitan areas with the lowest vacancy rates are San Jose, Calif., Fort Collins, Colo., and Lancaster, Pa.
"The low vacant property rates in the Seattle region are good for landlords and sellers but not so good for buyers or renters," said Matthew Gardner, Windermere Real Estate's chief economist, in a press release. "It is indicative of the very hot housing market in Seattle and I believe that the percentages could drop even further as we move into 2018."