A list such as the one provided by RealtyTrac is valuable frontline info; but unless an investor has very deep pockets and can take a few losses mixed in with mostly gains, it's wisest in our view for the investor to really dig into the local-market data and gauge that against the limitations and costs of distance for absentee owners.
Two things not specifically mentioned but more so simply alluded to in that helpful article by Francys Vallecillo, WORLD PROPERTY CHANNEL Global News Center:
1) Management costs (An investor can manage "efficiently and effectively" using local management services but at what cost to the bottom line?)
2) Prospects for the area (The article does say "cities on the list were hard hit by the down turn. Florida has eight markets on the list, the most of any state. But Florida and Las Vegas are among the markets that have seen a strong rebound.")
Do management fees and the local rate of recovery and likelihood for economic sustainability pencil out enough given the particular investor's tolerance for risk?