The Census Bureau has released its survey of Residential Vacancies and Homeownership for the fourth quarter of 2010.
Homeowner Vacancy 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.
Total Housing Units in the United States: 130.85 million vs. 130.19 million in Q4 2009
How Many Are Occupied: 112.45 million (85.9% of total) vs. 111.37 million in Q4 2009
- How Many Are Owner-Occupied: 74.78 million (57.2% of total) vs. 74.81 million in Q4 2009
- How Many Are Occupied By Renters: 37.67 million (28.8% of total) vs. 36.56 million in Q4 2009
How Many Homes Are Vacant: 18.39 million (14.1% of total) vs. 18.82 million in Q4 2009
How Many Homes Are Being Held of the Market: 7.23 million (5.5%) vs. 6.77 million in Q4 2009
The homeownership rate of 66.5 percent was 0.7 percentage points (+/-0.4%) lower than the fourth quarter 2009 rate (67.2 percent) and 0.4 percentage points (+/-0.4%) lower than the rate last quarter (66.9 percent).
REGION: For the fourth quarter 2010, the homeownership rates
were highest in the Midwest (70.5 percent) and lowest in the West (61.0
percent). The homeownership rates in the Midwest, South, and West were
lower than a year ago, while the Northeast is the only region with a
homeownership rate statistically unchanged from the corresponding fourth
quarter 2009 rate.
AGE: For the fourth quarter 2010, the homeownership rates were highest for those householders ages 65 years and over (80.5 percent) and lowest for the under 35 years of age group (39.2 percent). The rates for householders less than 35 years old, 35 to 44, and 45 to 54 years old were lower than their respective rates a year ago, while those householders 55 to 64 and 65 years and over showed no significant change from their corresponding rates in the fourth quarter 2009.
RACE: The homeownership rate
for the fourth quarter 2010 for non-Hispanic White householders
reporting a single race was highest at 74.2 percent. The rate for All
Other Races householders was second at 57.7 percent and Black Alone
householders was lowest, at 44.8 percent. The homeownership rate for
Black Alone householders was lower than in the fourth quarter 2009,
while the rates for non-Hispanic White and All Other Race householders
was not statistically different from one year ago. The rate for Hispanic
householders (who can be of any race), 46.8 percent, was lower than the
rate one year ago.
INCOME: In the fourth quarter 2010 the homeownership rate for households with family incomes greater than or equal to the median family income was 81.7 percent. The rate for those households with family incomes less than the median family income was 51.4 percent.
National vacancy rates in the fourth quarter 2010 were 9.4 percent for rental housing and 2.7 percent for homeowner housing, the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau announced today.
The homeowner vacancy rate of 2.7 percent was approximately the same as the fourth quarter 2009 rate (+/-0.2)* and 0.2 percentage points higher (+/-0.2) than the rate last quarter (2.5 percent).
URBAN VS. SUBURBAN: The homeowner vacancy rate in principal cities (3.6 percent) was higher than in the suburbs and outside MSA’s (2.3 percent each). The homeowner vacancy rate in principal cities was higher than in the fourth quarter 2009, while the rate outside MSA’s was lower than the corresponding fourth quarter 2009 rate.
REGION:For the fourth quarter 2010, the homeowner vacancy rate was lowest in the Northeast (2.0 percent). The homeowner vacancy rates in all regions were not significantly different from a year ago.
The rental vacancy rate of 9.4 percent was 1.3 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in the fourth quarter 2009 (+/-0.5 percentage points) and 0.9 percentage points lower than last quarter (+/-0.4).
URBAN VS SUBURBAN: In the fourth quarter 2010 vacancy rates inside principal cities (9.8 percent), in the suburbs (9.1 percent), and outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA’s) (9.1 percent), were not statistically different from each other. The rental vacancy rates in principal cities, in the suburbs, and outside MSA’s were lower than their corresponding fourth quarter 2009 rates.
REGION: Among regions, the rental vacancy rate was highest in the South (11.5 percent). Rates were lower in the Northeast (7.5 percent) and West (7.9 percent), but these rates were not statistically different from each other. The rental vacancy rates in the Midwest, South, and West were lower than in the fourth quarter 2009, while the rate in the Northeast was statistically unchanged.
Plain and Simple: The homeownership rate fell to 66.5% in the fourth quarter of 2010. This is a 10 year low. In a reallocation of sorts, the rental vacancy rate declined as housing consumers are choosing to rent instead of own. This is arising for one of two reason, the pool of qualified borrowers has shrunk considerably as lending standards have tightend...or people are choosing to wait it out a bit longer to see if home prices to indeed double dip. This makes sense as excess inventories are seen hampering the home price recovery process, especially in the hardest hit regions. The homeowner vacancy rate, which measures the number of unoccupied homes on the market (available for sale) was basically unchanged at 2.7% in Q4 2010. This likely reflects a reduction in home evictions thanks to the foreclosure moratoriums that were enacted as a result of the robosigning scandal. However we could also look at the number of homes being held of the market as another gauge of shadow inventory. That metric has risen from 6.77 million in Q4 2009 to 7.23 million in Q4 2010.
Rental units are clearly in demand. Watch out for rent inflation!