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Michigan ranks near the top of a new report on so-called "zombie” homes

Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

So-called “Zombie” homes continue to be a problem in Michigan cities.

Attom Data Solutions is out with its annual report on vacant or abandoned residential properties.

Michigan has one of the highest percentages of “zombie” homes, with Flint and Detroit both in the top four nationally for cities with high vacancy rates.

But Attom’s Daren Blomquist says the number of “zombie” homes has dropped significantly since the Great Recession.

“We’re seeing that even in places across Michigan,” says Blomquist.

Blomquist says thenegative effect “zombie” homes have had on local real estate markets also appears to be dissipating.

“Home prices in both of those markets are actually increasing pretty robustly,” says Blomquist.

Blomquist says many “zombie” homes are former foreclosed properties that banks or private investors have not been able to find buyers for. 

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.