Housing Market: 13% of All U.S. Homes are Vacant

High residential vacancies are killing many housing markets, as foreclosed homes sit on the market and depress sale prices and property values.And it’s only getting worse: The national vacancy rate crept up to just over 13% according to last week’s decennial census report. That’s up from 12.1% in 2007.

“More vacant homes equal more downward pressure on home prices,” said Brad Hunter, chief economist for Metrostudy, a real estate information provider.

Maine had the highest proportion of empty housing stock, at 22.8%. Other states with gluts of empty houses included Vermont (20.5%), Florida (17.5%), Arizona (16.3%) and Alaska (15.9%).

The way the census calculates the vacancy rates, however, is problematic. It includes properties such as ski lodges, beach houses and pied-à-terres that many real estate statisticians would not.

Read the full article on CnnMoney.com here: Housing market: 13% of all U.S. homes are vacant – Mar. 28, 2011.

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