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Home Vacancies Hold Steady in Q4

home-for-sale-sign-three-BHThe vacancy rate for homeowner housing stayed steady in the Fourth Quarter of 2016 while rental vacancies crept upward, according to the Quarterly Residential Vacancies and Homeownership data released Tuesday morning.

The vacancy rate for rental housing in Q4 2016 was 6.9 percent, up .1 percent from Q3 but down .1 percent from Q4 last year. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.8 percent in Q4, holding steady from the previous quarter and down .1 percent from the same quarter last year.

The Bureau said the homeownership rate of 63.7 percent wasn’t statistically different from the rate in Q4 2015 (63.8 percent) or Q3 2016 (63.5 percent)

The highest vacancy rates for rental housing were outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas at 8.5 percent. The rates inside principal cities and in the suburbs weren’t statistically different from each other at 7 and 6.4 percent, respectively.

Homeowner vacancy rates were highest outside metro areas at 2.7 percent, followed by inside principal cities at 2 percent and suburbs at 1.5 percent.

Rental vacancies were highest in the South at 9.2 percent, followed by the Midwest at 7.2 percent, Northeast at 5.5 percent and West at 4.2 percent. The rental vacancy rate in the West was lower than the Q4 2015 rate while rates in the Northeast, Midwest and South weren’t statistically different from Q4 2015 rates.

The homeowner vacancy rate was lowest in the West at 1.3 percent. The rate in the South, 2.2 percent, was higher than the rates in the Midwest at 1.6 and the West, but not statistically different from the rate in the Northeast at 1.8 percent.

As a whole, approximately 87.3 percent of all housing units in the United States were occupied in Q4 2016 and 12.7 were vacant. Owner-occupied housing units made up 55.6 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 31.7 percent of the inventory.

About Author: Phil Banker

Phil Banker began his career in journalism after graduating from the University of North Texas. He has covered a number of communities across Texas and southern Oklahoma, writing news and sports for publications including the Ardmoreite, Ennis Daily News and the Plano Star-Courier. He is currently a contributor to DS News and The MReport.

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