In a report released Thursday, RealtyTrac -- which tracks foreclosures -- said Chicago documented 14,717 owner-vacated properties, the most of any metro area in the country. Miami was second with 13,901, followed by New York with 10,074.
Two metro areas in Florida -- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater with 9,998 and Orlando with 5,569 -- were fourth and fifth.
There were 167,680 vacant foreclosure properties in the United States, 20 percent of all properties in foreclosure, with Florida accounting for 33 percent of the total with 55,503, the firm said.
RealtyTrac said it was counting vacated homes in some stage of the foreclosure process.
"These owner-vacated foreclosures are in addition to 544,274 bank-owned homes nationwide," the firm said.
Fifty-four percent of abandoned homes in the process of foreclosure were valued under $100,000m while 12 percent were valued at $1 million or more, the report said.
Among the five banks involved in the $25 billion mortgage-abuse settlement in 2012 settlement, Bank of America and Ally Financial had the highest percentage of owner-vacated properties, with 23 percent each.
The rate was 21 percent at JPMorgan Chase and 20 percent at Wells Fargo and Citibank, RealtyTrac said.
"Somewhat ironically, efforts to slow the slide of the housing market in previous years are now hampering a smooth recovery by holding back inventory of homes that almost certainly must sell in the future but are not yet listed for sale," said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac in a statement.
"This includes homes in foreclosure that have been vacated by the homeowner, which account for one in every five U.S. properties actively in the foreclosure process, as well as more than half a million bank-owned homes," he said.