With the current housing market climate—inventory challenges, rising mortgage rates and stagnating construction numbers—the housing market is still scorching hot. Despite these conditions, a new report shows that more than 16 million homes across the U.S. are sitting vacant.
To get a sense of vacancy rates in the U.S., LendingTree analyzed the latest housing data to rank the nation’s 50 states by their shares of unoccupied homes. Here’s what the report found:
- Vermont, Maine and Alaska are the states with the highest vacancy rates. Vacancy rates in these states are 22.86%, 22.68% and 20.51%, respectively. In total, that translates to more than 315,000 unoccupied houses across the three states.
- Oregon, Washington and Connecticut are the states with the lowest vacancy rates. Oregon has the lowest vacancy rate at 7.76%, followed by Washington at 7.87% and Connecticut at 8.09%. While these states have the lowest vacancy rates, that doesn’t mean they have the fewest vacant homes. With almost 521,000 unoccupied housing units across the three states, there are nearly 206,000 more vacant homes across Oregon, Washington and Connecticut than in Vermont, Maine and Alaska.
- Home prices in states with higher vacancy rates are often—but not always—lower than in states with lower vacancy rates. Median home prices across the 10 states with the highest vacancy rates are an average of about $18,000 lower than in the 10 states with the lowest vacancy rates.
“Homes can be vacant for a variety of reasons, and just because an area has a high vacancy rate doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s something wrong with its housing market, said Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economic analyst and report author. “Instead, it could mean that the area is rapidly building new homes for sale in order to satisfy high buyer demand, it can also mean that an area is a popular spot for secondary or vacation homes that go unused for most of the year.”
To view the full report, visit https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/vacancy-rates-study/.