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 rose nearly 20% in 2021. While several conditions contributed to the rise, none more evident than historically low mortgage rates. Recently, as interest rates have risen, those days are gone.
Real estate prices also rose as people moved from expensive coastal cities like New York and San Francisco to inland cities like Boise and Nashville. Median home prices in San Francisco are about three times the national figure of $350,000. Lower house prices were often associated with an overall lower cost of living.
Another contributor to American mobility and house prices began with the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have required employees to work from home for safety reasons. Many won’t be asked back or could be part of a hybrid workforce.
Unexpectedly, some states have a high number of unoccupied homes. Lending Tree has published 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 homes that have no occupants, and Lending Tree used this to provide its ranking.
The state with the highest number of occupied homes, by percentage, is Vermont at 22.86%. Maine is second with 22.68%, followed by Alaska with 20.51%. The authors point out that “In total, this translates to more than 315,000 unoccupied homes in the three states.”
At the far end of the list, Oregon’s vacancy rate is 7.76%, followed by Washington at 8.87% and Connecticut at 8.09%. The analysis shows that “With nearly 521,000 unoccupied homes in the three states, there are nearly 206,000 more vacant homes in Oregon, Washington and Connecticut than in Vermont, Maine and Alaska” .
Click here to read The Most Expensive States to Buy a Home