The Irvine-based firm reports that it can take more than two years to complete foreclosures in some states.

IRVINE, CA-“Efforts to prevent unnecessary foreclosures and mitigate their impact on home values have resulted in a foreclosure process that takes an average of 477 days nationwide, and more than two years in some states, which is holding many of these must-sell properties off the market,” said Daren Blomquist, VP of locally based real estate and foreclosure data firm RealtyTrac, in a prepared statement. “Even if all these homes flooded the market simultaneously, they would likely not cause the once-feared double dip in prices given supply constraints from non-distressed sellers and stronger demand.”

Blomquist added that given these market dynamics, “it’s not surprising to see that Florida, Illinois and New Jersey—states with three of the four longest foreclosure timelines—have all had laws take effect in the last six months that speed up the foreclosure process on vacant properties. These laws should help provide some extra supply and possibly help reduce the threat of another housing price bubble forming in these markets.”

As reported earlier today, California has the third-highest number of vacant homes in foreclosure as of June, according to RealtyTrac. At 9,802 owner-vacant properties, the Golden State fell far behind Florida, with 55,503 owner-vacant homes; and Illinois, with 17,672.

As of June, 20% of all US properties in the foreclosure process had owners who had vacated the properties, These owner-vacated foreclosures are in addition to 544,274 bank-owned homes nationwide that have been foreclosed on but not sold to a third party.

“The eventual release of these properties will be welcome in the market,” said Emmett Laffey, CEO of New York-based Laffey Fine Homes, in the release. “Buyer appetite for foreclosed properties is at an all-time high. Investors will continue to swarm at below-market deals.”

This heat map shows the latest foreclosure activity nationwide. The darker the blue, the higher the rate of foreclosures. ***Heat map courtesy of RealtyTrac.