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The Week Ahead: Analyzing Vacancy Rates

residential segregation in housingOn Thursday, July 25, the U.S. Census Bureau will announce its findings on residential vacancies and homeownership for Q2 2019. The report covers both rental and homeowner vacancy rates for the 75 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs).

Vacancy rates in the first quarter 2019 were 7.0% for rental housing and 1.4% for homeowner housing, and the homeownership rate of 64.2% was virtually unchanged from the rate in the first quarter 2018, but 0.6% points lower than the rate in the fourth quarter 2018. The homeownership rate was unchanged at 64.2%.

The homeowner vacancy rates outside MSAs (1.6%) was higher than the rate in the suburbs (1.3%), but not statistically different from the rate in principal cities (1.4%). The rates in principal cities and in the suburbs were not statistically different from each other. The homeowner vacancy rate in principal cities was lower than the first quarter 2018 rate, while rates in the suburbs and outside MSAs were not statistically different from the first quarter 2018 rates.

The first quarter 2019 rental vacancy rate was highest in the South (9.2%) followed by the Midwest (7.6%). The rental vacancy rates in Northeast (5.0%) and the West (4.6%) were not statistically different from each other. The rental vacancy rate in the West was lower than the first quarter 2018 rate, while rates in the Northeast, Midwest, and South were not statistically different from the first quarter 2018 rates.

In Q4 2018, the homeowner vacancy rate was higher than the Midwest, at 1.7 percent compared to 1.3% respectively. While the West had a rate of 1.2%, it was not measurably different from the Northeast which was 1.5%. This is because of the numbers evening out due to the rate in the Northeast being higher than the West, while rates in the Midwest and West were not statistically different from each other.

Here's what else is happening in The Week Ahead:

  • Chicago Fed national activity index (July 22)
  • NAR Existing Homes Sales (July 23)
  • Census Bureau New Residential Sales Survey (July 24)

About Author: Seth Welborn

Seth Welborn is a Reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Harding University, he has covered numerous topics across the real estate and default servicing industries. Additionally, he has written B2B marketing copy for Dallas-based companies such as AT&T. An East Texas Native, he also works part-time as a photographer.
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