Report shows Wichita ranks among the worst in abandoned homes

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WICHITA, Kansas – A new report shows Wichita among the worst in the nation when it comes to homes in foreclosure abandoned by their owners but local realtors say the numbers used are misleading.

According to a USA Today/Wall St. 24/7 report, Wichita ranks fifth in the nation with 30.4 percent of the homes in foreclosure abandoned.

“It is very annoying,” said Benita Cox. She lives two doors down on South Holyoke from a home in foreclosure that was abandoned.

Cox’s husband and their next-door neighbor have been working on the home’s yard trying to keep the property presentable.

“The whole area was kind of piled up with trash and things,” said Cox.

While the percentage of homes abandoned in foreclosure is high, the number of actual homes in foreclosure is low.

Just 90 foreclosed homes in Wichita have been abandoned. That’s hundreds less than every other city on the list. The closest to Wichita in the report is Boise City with 361 abandoned homes in foreclosure.

“We have a very low foreclosure rate in general,” said Tessa Hultz, CEO of the Wichita Area Association of Realtors. “And the list is homes abandoned during the foreclosure process, not after.”

Hultz says only 2.46 percent of homes on the market in Wichita are abandoned. She says statistics continue to show the housing market around Wichita is bouncing back after the hit it took during the Great Recession.

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