11% of U.S. Houses Sit Empty

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Sure doesn’t look at an economic recovery to me!
But then I don’t work for the Fraud’s administration.  😉

Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty
By Diana Olick – CNBC – Jan 31, 2011

America’s home ownership rate, after holding steady for a while, took a pretty big plunge in Q4, from 66.9 percent to 66.5 percent. That’s down from the 2004 peak of 69.2 percent and the lowest level since 1998.
Homeownership is falling at an alarming pace, despite the fact that home prices have fallen, affordability is much improved and inventories of new and existing homes are still running quite high.
Bargains abound, but few are interested or eligible to take advantage.
More concerning than the home ownership rate is the vacancy rate. The Census tables don’t tell the entire story, but they tell a lot of it. Of the nearly 131 million housing units in this country, 112.5 million are occupied. 74.8 million are owned, and that’s only dropped by about 30 thousand in the past year. 38 million are rented, but that’s up by over a million year over year. That means more new households are choosing to rent.
Now to vacancies. There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 ’10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), which is actually an improvement of 427,000 from a year ago, but not for the reasons you’d think.
The number of vacant homes for rent fell by 493 thousand, as rental demand rose. 471,000 homes are listed as “Held off Market” about half for temporary use, but the other half are likely foreclosures. And no, the shadow inventory isn’t just 200,000, it’s far higher than that.
So think about it. Eleven percent of the houses in America are empty. This as builders start to get more bullish, and renting apartments becomes ever more popular. Vacancies in the apartment sector have been falling steadily and dramatically, why? Because we’re still recovering emotionally from the toll of the housing crash.
Younger Americans have seen what home ownership has done to their friends and families, and many want no part of it. Credit has become very nearly elitist. Home prices, whatever your particular data provider preference might be, are still falling.

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0 responses to “11% of U.S. Houses Sit Empty

  1. 50% of homeowners are now upside down on their mortgages. The 11% vacancy rate quoted is from the smart one’s that have already bailed out.

  2. It will not get better for a long time. I expect 15%, perhaps more, vacancies for the bottom to be in, then a very slow recovery, as the middle classes have been exhaustionated!!
    OK, I know that ‘exhaustionated’ isn’t in your dictionary, but I’m pretty sure that’s how all-too-many of us feel these days about a LOT of events and our lives. I used to be able to put in twelve productive hours, now I’m lucky if it’s six, and then I need to call it a day!

  3. Hell of a “recovery” we got goin’ here, ain’t it?
    It will take 20 years for this country to dig out from under this mess, and that is only if the current House does what we all know needs to be done.
    Failing that, we’re f*cked – royally so, and all the wishful thinking in the world will not change that.
    And it won’t matter one iota how many repube fannies get voted in come November of 2012.

  4. Unfortunately, I see the percentage of empty homes due to foreclosure going much higher. People are wrung out from rising energy costs, food prices, local taxes on top of reduced incomes. They can’t cover their bills with less cash.

  5. for people interested there is a new liberty group starting a petition by “We The People” to rein in George Soros-at http://www.wevehadenough.com

  6. Yep at least 4 forclosures in my condo complex last year. Value of my condo has dropped 25% as a result.
    Hope and change my arse…

  7. How many of these houses were actually empty before the “foreclosure crisis” happened?
    I question the vacancy rates of these units, as when I was in northern Virginia in 2004-2007 my neighborhood was filled with 4-Sale signs and so called “investment” properties that about every 4-6 months were turning a 10-15% profit… and all the time, was NEVER occupied by the owner(s).
    During this 3 year period, I saw prices of town homes go from 175k to 450k, and single family units from 250k-700k. I questioned the sanity of these folks who were paying almost half-a-million-dollars for these DC suburb shoe boxes. This nonsense was happening all across the US.
    Did I miss the “homeless foreclosure crises” along the way somewhere?

  8. No recovery going on here! There have never been more foreclosures!

  9. Thomas Morato, Northern Virginia is not the real U.S. because of DC. Don’t forget, the people in DC are going to take care of their back yard at the expense of the nation’s taxes. Just be careful though. DC may have to answer to China someday about the national debt.


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