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Homeownership, Vacancy Rates Flat Year-Over-Year

Couple With Keys Standing Outside New HomeBoth homeownership and homeowner vacancy rates were flat in year-over-year change during Q4 2017, according to the latest quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership report released by the U.S. Census Bureau [1].

According to the Census Bureau data, the homeownership rate for Q4 2017 was 64.2 percent, little changed from the rates for Q3 2017 (63.9 percent) or Q4 2016 (63.7 percent). The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.6 percent for the quarter, 0.2 percent lower than a year earlier and holding steady from the Q3 2017 total. The rental vacancy rate was considerably higher at 6.9 percent, down 0.6 percent from Q3 2016 and flat year-over-year.

During Q4 2017, the median asking sales price for vacant “for sale” units $197,000. The homeowner vacancy rate for the quarter was at 2.0 percent outside of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), slightly higher than in the suburbs (1.5 percent). The rate both inside principal cities and outside MSAs trended lower year-over-year, although the rate for suburbs remained flat during that period. The Q4 2017 rental vacancy trends were similar, with higher rates outside of MSAs and rates generally flat year-over-year.

The Census Bureau reports that the homeowner vacancy rate was highest in the Northeast (2.0 percent), followed by the South (1.7 percent), the Midwest (1.5 percent), and the West (1.1 percent). Homeowner vacancies decreased in the South during Q4 year-over-year, but remained flat in the other regions.

On the rental side of things, the South saw the highest vacancy rate at 8.8 percent, followed by the Midwest (7.6 percent), Northeast (5.5 percent), and West (4.5 percent). All four regions were flat year-over-year.

Roughly 87.8 percent of U.S. housing units were occupied during Q4 2017, according to the Census Bureau. You can read the Bureau’s full report by clicking here [2].