Industry News

Share of empty homes hits all-time high

Biggest rise in vacancies seen in major cities, Census Bureau reports

Don't miss the real estate event of the summer
Join 4,000 real estate pros at Connect SF, Aug 7‑11, 2017

The national homeowner vacancy rate reached 2.8 percent in the first quarter -- the highest level on record, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today, while the home-ownership rate dipped slightly to 68.4 percent. The homeowner vacancy rate, a gauge of the number of unoccupied units for sale vs. the total homeowner inventory, was 2.1 percent in first-quarter 2006 and has risen for seven consecutive quarters. A high vacancy rate can indicate an oversupply of housing units while a low vacancy rate can indicate a shortage in supply of housing units. This rate was about 4 percent in principal cities, 2.9 percent inside metropolitan statistical areas, 2.4 percent in the suburbs and 2.2 percent outside of metropolitan areas in the first quarter. That compares to a rate of 2.5 percent in principal cities, 2 percent inside metropolitan areas, 1.8 percent in suburbs and 2.2 percent outside of metropolitan statistical areas in first-quarter 2006. Regionally, the homeowner vacancy rate rose from 2.3...