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by CareyBot

National vacancy rates for rental units in the fourth quarter increased from a year earlier, while homeowner vacancies remained virtually the same, the Department of Commerce's Census Bureau announced today. Rental housing vacancy rates were 10.2 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 2002's fourth-quarter revised rate of 9.3 percent, and slightly higher than the third quarter's 9.9 percent rate. Homeowner housing vacancy rates in the fourth quarter were at 1.8 percent, virtually unchanged from the year-ago rate of 1.7 percent, but lower than the third quarter's 1.9 percent rate. For rental housing, the suburbs (9.7 percent) had the lowest vacancy rate, while rates outside metropolitan areas (10.6 percent) and in central cities (10.4 percent) were not different from each other. The re...