The residential real estate market in America has been described as out of control. Prices in some markets have increased by 50% over the past two years. Nationally, home prices are up nearly 20% in 2021. Despite this boom, some markets have multiple unoccupied homes, and the state with the most empty homes is Vermont.
Although several conditions have contributed to the rise in house prices, none is more evident than historically low mortgage rates. Recently, however, interest rates have started to rise. (It’s the riskiest housing market in America.)
Real estate prices also rose as people moved from expensive coastal cities like New York and San Francisco to inland cities like Boise, Idaho and Nashville, Tennessee. Median home prices in San Francisco are about three times the national figure of $350,000. Lower property prices were often combined with an overall lower cost of living to attract newcomers. (These are the cheapest cities to buy a house.)
Another contributor to American mobility and rising house prices began with the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have required employees to work from home for safety reasons. Many workers will not be asked to roll back or could be part of a hybrid workforce.
Unexpectedly, some states have a high number of unoccupied homes. Online mortgage marketplace LendingTree has released a new study titled “16 million homes are vacant in the United States – Here are the states with the highest vacancy rates.” Some of these houses are damaged enough to be uninhabitable. Others may be for sale and not occupied. Still others are summer houses that are not occupied all year round.
The Census Bureau provided data on houses with no occupants, and LendingTree used it to provide its ranking. To find the state with the most empty homes, 24/7 Wall St. looked at LendingTree’s rankings.
The state with the highest number of unoccupied homes, by percentage, is Vermont at 22.86%. Maine is second with 22.68%, followed by Alaska with 20.51%. The authors note, “In total, this translates to more than 315,000 unoccupied homes in the three states.” These three states, however, are also among the 10 least populated states.
At the far end of the list, Oregon’s vacancy rate is 7.76%, followed by Washington State at 8.87% and Connecticut at 8.09%. These three states have nearly 521,000 unoccupied units, with nearly 206,000 additional vacant units in Vermont, Maine and Alaska.
Click here to see this is the state with the most empty houses