Landlords dumping local single-family rentals – local zombie foreclosure rate minimal


TRI-CITIES, TENN. – The number of single-family rental properties in the Appalachian Highlands area continues shrinking while the vacancy rate remains just under 3%.

According to ATTOM’s Second-Quarter Vacancy Report, there were 395 fewer single-family investment properties in the Tri-Cities region than there were during the first quarter. The total is down 4,101 properties from this time last year.

ATTOM is a leading curator of land, property, and real estate data. The vacancies are part of a larger analysis of pre-foreclosure properties from publicly recorded real estate data collected by ATTOM — including foreclosure, equity, and owner-occupancy status — matched against monthly updated vacancy data.

At the end of the second quarter, there were 59,069 single-family and town home non-owner-occupied investment properties in the local zip codes included in the analysis. That’s down from 59,069 during the first quarter and 62,775 last year.

The current overall vacancy rate is 2.6%. It was 2.7% at the end of the first quarter. The region continues to be one of the tightest rental markets in East Tennessee, according to regional reports.

There are several zip codes with no vacancies.

The highest rate is 11.2% in Kingsport’s 37665 zip code.

The largest number of rental properties in the region is in Bristol’s 24201 zip code.

Landlords have been unloading single-family rentals for almost two years. Although demand is high and rents have increased, so have the costs and headaches. Supply chain snarls and materials costs prompted landlords to take advantage of the strong existing home seller’s market to call it quits at what they saw as the market’s peak.


There were 101 pre-foreclosure properties across the region at the end of the second quarter, down from 106 during the first quarter.

According to ATTOM’s analysis, only one of those pre-foreclosures is vacant.

The largest number of pre-foreclosures is in the Bristol market.

Vacant pre-foreclosure properties are known as zombie foreclosures.

Nationwide, there are 1.3 million zombie foreclosures, according to ATTOM. Still, the number of zombie foreclosures remains historically low, with little impact on the nation’s total stock of 101.3 million residential properties.

“Zombie foreclosures keep inching up as lenders pursue more delinquent homeowners in courts around the country. All indications are that the number of zombie properties will keep going up slowly, given that foreclosures are up,” said Rob Barber, chief executive officer for ATTOM. “But abandoned properties are still nothing more than a dot on the radar screen among the majority of neighborhoods. We are still a long way from the fallout after the Great Recession of the late 2000s, when this was a very real issue in many areas around the U.S.”

The lack of zombie foreclosures throughout most of the country continues to stand out as one of the most significant effects of the U.S. housing market boom that more than doubled the national median home value from 2012 to 2022.



Categories: REAL ESTATE