A recent study by LendingTree found that more than 320,000 homes across the nation’s most expensive towns sit vacant. For the study, the mortgage analyzed housing data to determine vacancy rates in the nation’s 50 most expensive ‘micropolitan’ areas (towns) with populations between 10,000 and 50,000.
Here are some of the key findings:
- Across the nation’s 50 most expensive towns, an average of 23.42% of homes are vacant.
- Breckenridge, Colorado, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, have the highest vacancy rates. An average of nearly 60% of all homes in these popular vacation and tourist destinations are vacant.
- Juneau, Alaska, Faribault, Minnesota, and Moscow, Idaho, have the lowest vacancy rates. An average of only 7.54% of homes in these towns are vacant.
- Homes are most likely to be vacant because they’re only used for seasonal, recreational or occasional use. An average of 58.88% of the vacant homes analyzed in our study are empty for that reason.
- Towns with higher vacancy rates tend to have more expensive homes than those with lower vacancy rates.
“A high vacancy rate may fool some buyers into thinking that they’ll have an easy time finding a home to buy in one of the towns highlighted in our study,” said Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist and author of the report. “Unfortunately, vacancy rates alone don’t paint a full picture of an area’s market. Finding that they’re priced out of an area by wealthier buyers looking for vacation (or other types of secondary homes) is just one issue that those thinking about moving to a small town with a high vacancy rate may have to deal with.”
To read the full report, click here.