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:
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.