Interest Rate Roundup

Monday, April 28, 2008

U.S. housing vacancy rate sets a record high

Every quarter, the Census Bureau releases a broad snapshot of the U.S. housing industry -- specifically, it tallies up the U.S. homeownership rate and the U.S. vacancy rate (what percentage of U.S. homes are sitting empty). The latest figures (PDF link) for Q1 2008 show:

* The homeowner vacancy rate rose to 2.9% from 2.8% in both Q4 2007 and Q1 2007. This is the highest vacancy rate in the nation's history. Prior to the housing bust, this figure never rose above 2%, as you can see in the chart above. The Census Bureau estimates there are 2.277 million housing units for sale, up 4.5% from a year earlier to a record high.

* The rental vacancy rate also climbed somewhat. It hit 10.1% vs. 9.6% in Q4 2007 and 10.1% a year earlier. The recent peak was 10.4% in Q1 2004.

* Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted homeownership inched higher to 67.9% from 67.7% a quarter earlier. That was down from 68.5% a year earlier. The boomtime high was 69.3% in Q2 2004.


  • Amazing! An entry from January 29, 2007 had the same headline!
    Keep up the good work. This will be a long story.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at April 29, 2008 at 7:48 AM  

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