Home Vacancy Rate
Homeowner vacancy rate data is published quarterly by the US Bureau of Census (more). The data is displayed as a percentage and is the seasonally adjusted annual rate.
Current Quarter
Q3 2021
Previous Quarter
Q2 2021
Change
Quarter over Quarter
Home Vacancy 0.90 0.90 0.00 %
Rental Vacancy 5.80 6.20 -6.45 %
About This Data

Homeowner Vacany and Rental Vacancy statistics are from the Housing Vacancy Survey, which is a supplement to the Current Population Survey.

The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner inventory which is vacant for sale.

The rental vacancy rate is the proportion of the rental inventory which is vacant for rent.

A housing unit is vacant if no one is living in it at the time of the interview, unless its occupants are only temporarily absent. In addition, a vacant unit may be one which is entirely occupied by persons who have a usual residence elsewhere.

New units not yet occupied are classified as vacant housing units if construction has reached a point where all exterior windows and doors are installed and final usable floors are in place. Vacant units are excluded if they are exposed to the elements, that is, if the roof, walls, windows, or doors no longer protect the interior from the elements, or if there is positive evidence (such as a sign on the house or block) that the unit is to be demolished or is condemned.

A housing unit is occupied if a person or group of persons is living in it at the time of the interview or if the occupants are only temporarily absent, as for example, on vacation. The persons living in the unit must consider it their usual place of residence or have no usual place of residence elsewhere. The count of occupied housing units is the same as the count of households.

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.

Beginning in 1990, year-round vacant mobile homes were included as part of the year-round vacant count of housing units. Year-round units are those intended for occupancy at any time of the year, even though they may not be in use the year round. In resort areas, a housing unit which is usually occupied on a year-round basis is considered a year-round unit. As indicated above, year-round units temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere are included with year-round vacant units.

Year-round vacant units are classified in the following categories:

  1. Vacant units for rent. This group consists of vacant units offered for rent and those offered both for rent and sale.
  2. Vacant units for sale only. This group is limited to units for sale only; it excludes units both for rent and sale. If a unit was located in a multi-unit structure which was for sale as an entire structure and if the unit was not for rent, it was reported as "held off market." However, if the individual unit was intended to be occupied by the new owner, it was reported as "for sale."
  3. Vacant units rented or sold. This group consists of year-round vacant units which have been rented or sold but the new renters or owners have not moved in as of the day of interview.

Vacant units held off the market. Included in this category are units held for occasional use, temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewere, and vacant for other reasons. These classifications are described below.

For occasional use. If the vacant unit is not for-rent or for-sale-only but is held for weekends or occasional use thoughout the year, the unit is included in this catagory. Time-shared units are classified in this category if the vacant unit is not for-rent or for-sale-only, but held for use for an individual during the time of interview.

Foreclosures may be in any of the housing stock categories on Table 3 (Estimates of the Total Housing Inventory for the United States) of the press release. They could still be occupied by the owner, or still be occupied by the renter, making them "owner occupied" or "renter occupied", respectively.

They could also be vacant and available for sale or for rent. If the unit is classified as "vacant for sale only", it will be included in the "vacant for sale" category. If the unit is for rent or "for sale OR rent, " it will be included in the "vacant for rent" category.

Many foreclosures will be in the "vacant other" category, because they are neither for sale or for rent - they are still in the foreclosure process and tied up in legal proceedings, or being held off the market until the legal owner of the property decides what to do. In addition, it is possible the unit could be undergoing repair for future use. Also included in the "vacant other" category are units "for occasional use" and units "temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere", both of which may contain foreclosures. Foreclosures could also be included in the seasonal category, depending on the specific situation.

In conclusion, foreclosed properties may appear in all of the housing unit categories, not just the "vacant for sale" category

 

Geographic regions. The four major regions of the United States for which data are presented in this report represent groups of States as follows:

Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania.

Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota.

South: Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas.

West: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington.

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