301,874 vacant “zombie” properties dot the U.S. landscape

The number of homes overall in foreclosure or bank-owned rose by 9 percent to 1.5 million properties nationally in the first quarter of 2013 compared to a year ago, according to RealtyTrac, a real estate information company in Irvine, California.

Of these, an estimated 301,874 are "zombie" properties, described as vacant properties where homeowners in foreclosure moved out, leaving these susceptible to vandalism and degradation.

Florida tops the list with 90,556 vacant zombie homes in foreclosure; Illinois and California ranked a distant second and third with 31,668 and 28,821 properties respectively.