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RealtyTrac: Zombie and Vampire Foreclosures / Biased Trends are deceptive

October 3, 2013

RealtyTrac is already familiar to ZombieLaw readers for their references “zombie homes” in foreclosures – now a new RealtyTrac report refers to vampires: “Monsters of the Housing Market: Vampire REOs and Zombie Foreclosures” by Daren Blomquist, RealtyTrac Vice President.

zombie daren blomquist realtytrac

Blomquist makes a distinction between foreclosure with the homeowner still living there or not. Blomquist says zombie are foreclosures where the homeowners abandoned but when the homeowner is still there, those are vampires.

That’s terrible! Totally a banker perspective that the people trying to hold on to their homes after the worst recession since the Great Depression are somehow they are vampires. It’s the banks who are vampire-squid bloodsuckers! The banks who made the zombies when they wouldn’t negotiate. The homeowners are not the monsters! The homeowners need assistance — the banks got bailed out from the government but the assistance never got to the homeowners!!! Instead, it’s just an “opportunity” for the next guy.

Why does RealtyTrac push these inhuman metaphors? Probably because it’s Halloween month and they are hoping for hits. And they got them:

In US, ‘Vampire’ Home Inventory Hiding in Shadows” by WPC Staff

Vampire & zombie foreclosures threatening housing market” by Rachel Leigh

RealtyTrac spots spooky new trends in homeownership” by Ben van der Meer

‘Vampire’ foreclosures are what’s keeping bank inventory high, analyst says

So ok. But is the October Zombie peak going to happen this year? The Google Trends algorithm is confused. Recall last time we looked (also in reference in RealtyTrac), GoogleTrend predicted a bump in summer (because it thought the Florida Bath Salts Zombie from the previous year would repeat) and then a bigger surge in October (the annual pattern for many years is a surge in October)

But there was no bump in the summer (maybe it’s peaked – maybe Brad Pitt really did kill the zombies with his summer movie!). So now GoogleTrend thinks there will be no bump for October this year. The zombies have peaked! — but when it aggregates for next year, it still thinks October 2014 zombies could be huge.

This is a real problem of predictive technologies. We can guess why people were searching “zombie” but not everything is as cyclical as strawberries. So who knows why the homeowners are still in the foreclosed homes? We must help these vampires keep their homes and force banks to restore their zombies. Real estate banking is not supposed to be about getting graphs to predict monstrous annual rises, it’s supposed to be about helping people afford a good place to live!

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From → economics

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