Cities with the Most Abandoned Homes

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One in five homes in the foreclosure process stands vacant after being abandoned by owners. While the housing market is on the mend, some cities still struggle as they wait for thousands of homes to complete the process.

Nearly one in three homes in foreclosure are abandoned in Indianapolis. In five separate metro areas in Florida, more than one in four homeowners have given up. Based on data provided by RealtyTrac for the 101 largest metro areas, these are the cities where residents are abandoning their homes.

Click here to see the 10 cities

Many of the cities with the most homes in foreclosure that are abandoned were among the hardest hit during the housing crisis. While there are exceptions, “these are areas where a big home price bubble popped,” RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist told 24/7 Wall St. Indeed, home prices fell by more than the national average during the housing crisis in six of the 10 cities. In Lakeland and Las Vegas, prices fell by more than 40% in that time, compared to a national decline of just 20.8%.

The amount of time it takes for the foreclosure process to complete in some of these cities may, as Blomquist explained, be a major factor in how many residents decide to give up on their properties. Several of these cities are in states with long average foreclosure times. In Florida, which has two cities on this list, the average foreclosure took 893 days to complete, the third longest time in the country.

While some of these cities have shorter-than-average foreclosure processing time, recent legislation may have encouraged homeowners to give up. Atlanta is located in Georgia, which has the seventh shortest average foreclosure time of 199 days. “But that’s up 26% from a year ago,” explained Blomquist. These changing rules may be leading homeowners to give up on their homes, he added.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 10 metropolitan areas with the highest vacancy rate among homes in foreclosure, based on data provided by RealtyTrac for the 101 most populous metropolitan areas. RealtyTrac also provided on a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) level median home price for the total number of housing units in the area, population, institutional purchases information and foreclosures for these areas, all of which are for most recent available period. They also provided average time to foreclose on a state level, as of the first quarter of 2013. We also reviewed long-term home price changes through the fourth quarter of 2012 from the Corelogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

These are the cities with the most abandoned homes.