America Has 130.7 Million Housing Units. 18.8 Million Are Vacant.

Nov 2, 2010

The Census Bureau has released its survey of Residential Vacancies and Homeownership for the third quarter of 2010. 

Quick Recap.....

Total Housing Units in the United States: 130.68  million

How Many Are Occupied: 111.91 million ( 85.6% of total)

How Many Homes Are Vacant: 18.77 million (14.4% of total)

How Many Homes Are Being Held of the Market: 7.058 million (5.4%)

DEFINITION OF "HOUSING UNIT": A housing unit is a house, an apartment, a group of rooms, or a single room occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters. Separate living quarters are those in which the occupants do not live and eat with other persons in the structure and which have direct access from the outside of the building or through a common hall. For vacant units, the criteria of separateness and direct access are applied to the intended occupants whenever possible. If the information cannot be obtained, the criteria are applied to the previous occupants. Tents and boats are excluded if vacant, used for business, or used for extra sleeping space or vacations. Vacant seasonal/migratory mobile homes are included in the count of vacant seasonal/migratory housing units. Living quarters of the following types are excluded from the housing unit inventory: Dormitories, bunkhouses, and barracks; quarters in predominantly transient hotels, motels, and the like, except those occupied by persons who consider the hotel their usual place of residence; quarters in institutions, general hospitals, and military installations except those occupied by staff members or resident employees who have separate living arrangements.

Excerpts from the Release...

The homeownership rate of 66.9 percent was 0.7 percentage points (+/-0.4%) lower than the third quarter 2009 rate (67.6 percent) and approximately the same as the rate last quarter, also 66.9 percent. When adjusted for seasonal variation, the current homeownership rate (66.7 percent) was lower than the rate in the third quarter 2009 (67.4 percent), but not statistically different from the rate last quarter (66.9 percent).

For the third quarter 2010, the homeownership rates were highest in the Midwest (71.1 percent) and lowest in the West (61.3 percent). The homeownership rates in the South and West were lower than a year ago, while rates in the Northeast and Midwest were not statistically different from their corresponding third quarter 2009 rates.


For the third quarter 2010, the homeownership rates were highest for those householders ages 65 years and over (80.6 percent) and lowest for the under 35 years of age group (39.2 percent). The rates for householders 35 to 44 and from 45 to 54 were lower than their respective rates a year ago, while those householders less than 35 years old, 55 to 64, and those 65 years and over showed no significant change from their corresponding rates in the third quarter 2009.

For the racial categories shown below, the homeownership rate for the third quarter 2010 for non-Hispanic White householders reporting a single race was highest at 74.7 percent. The rate for All Other Races householders was second at 57.3 percent and single-race Black householders was lowest, at 45.0 percent. The homeownership rates for non-Hispanic White householders and Black Alone householders were lower than in the third quarter 2009, while the rate for All Other Race householders was not statistically different from one year ago. The rate for Hispanic householders (who can be of any race), 47.0 percent, was lower than the rate one year ago.

In the third quarter 2010 the homeownership rate for households with family incomes greater than or equal to the median family income was 81.9 percent. The rate for those households with family incomes less than the median family income was 51.9 percent.

National vacancy rates in the third quarter 2010 were 10.3 percent for rental housing and 2.5 percent for homeowner housing.

The homeowner vacancy rate of 2.5 percent was 0.1 percentage points lower than the third quarter 2009 rate (+/-0.2) and approximately the same as the rate last quarter, also 2.5 percent.

For the third quarter 2010, the homeowner vacancy rate was lowest in the Northeast (1.6 percent). The homeowner vacancy rate in the Northeast was lower than in the third quarter 2009, while rates in other regions were not significantly different from a year ago.

The homeowner vacancy rate in principal cities (2.9 percent) was higher than in the suburbs (2.4 percent) and outside MSAs (2.3 percent). The 2.4 percent and the 2.3 percent were not statistically different from each other. The homeowner vacancy rates in principal cities, in the suburbs, and outside MSAs were not statistically different from their corresponding rates a year ago.

The rental vacancy rate of 10.3 percent was 0.8 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in the third quarter 2009 (+/-0.5 percentage points) and 0.3 percentage points lower than last quarter (+/-0.4).

Among regions, the rental vacancy rate was highest in the South (12.9 percent). Rates were lower in the Northeast (7.4 percent) and West (8.1 percent), but these rates were not statistically different from each other. The rental vacancy rates in the South and West were lower than in the third quarter 2009, while rates in the Northeast and Midwest remained statistically unchanged from a year ago.

The rental vacancy rates in principal cities and in the suburbs were lower than a year ago, while the rate outside MSAs was not statistically different from the corresponding third quarter 2009 rate. For rental housing by area, the third quarter 2010 vacancy rates inside principal cities (10.5 percent), in the suburbs (10.1 percent), and outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) (10.4 percent), were not statistically different from each other.

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We know that stable housing has a strong positive impact on a single individual or family and that, in its absence, the problems can be profound. 

An adult without a permanent address has difficulty finding employment, maintaining a healthful lifestyle, or a medical regime. A family without stable and affordable housing cannot access many social and health related services, or provide adequate clothing and nutrition; its children become transient students, frequently with social and psychological problems.  Imagine how those individual small human problems impact the schools which must educate the transient and troubled students, a health system that must cope with crisis rather than prevention, an increase the burden on law enforcement and the social network.   

Add to this list the effect on whole cities of the vacant and deteriorating properties that have been or soon will be foreclosed and the problem of housing their dispossessed former homeowners and renters, not to mention the lost property tax revenues. Banks are foreclosing at rates not seen since the depression....

It is beyond time to take a holistic look at the entire housing universe: READ MORE


Read More: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11022010_q3_homeownership_and_vacancy.asp, http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/11022010_q3_homeownership_and_vacancy.asp

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