The housing market has a Halloween spirit

The Scotsman Guide - Bill Conroy - 28 October 2016

In keeping with the ghoulish spirit of the upcoming Halloween holiday, real estate research company Attom Data Solutions took a look at zip codes in the U.S. that have a high concentration of vacant homes owned by dead people.  

The goal, with a spirit of Halloween humor intended, was to determine which neighborhoods in the nation have the highest likelihood of having “haunted” houses. 

The results of Attom Data’s analysis showed that some 40,000 single-family homes nationwide stand vacant and are owned by deceased individuals, or about one in every 1,795 homes in the U.S. The neighborhoods — or zip codes — with the highest ratios of vacant homes owned by departed souls are the following: 

  1. Gary, Indiana, zip code 46407 — one in every 41 homes;
  2. Gary Indiana, zip code 46402 — one in every 52 homes;
  3. Duquesne, Pennsylvania, zip code 15110 — one in every 56 homes;
  4. Braddock, Pennsylvania, zip code 15104 — one in every 57 homes;
  5. Mobile, Alabama, zip code 36610 — one in every 69 homes;
  6. Detroit, Michigan, zip code 48217 — one in every 71 homes;
  7. Jackson, Mississippi, zip code 39203 — one in every 74 homes;
  8. Birmingham, Alabama, zip code 35207 — one in every 81 homes;
  9. Gary, Indiana, zip code 46404 — one in every 81 homes;
  10. Youngstown, Ohio, zip code 44506 — one in every 83 homes.


Of note is that three zip codes in Gary, Indiana, make the list. Gary, of course, was the birthplace of the now-deceased pop rock star Michael Jackson, whose “Thriller” music video is a sort of Halloween anthem. Two zip codes in Pennsylvania also rank among the top five. Although not a perfect match, it is worth noting that Transylvania was the home of Dracula of vampire fame. 

Attom Data’s analysis is silent on any possible effect this odd statistic — likely “haunted houses” — has on home sales or prices in the affected neighborhoods. It’s a safe bet, however, that these homes won’t have their porch lights on for this year’s trick-or-treaters — or will they?