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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

U.S. Home Vacancies Up One Percent Since 2006

One percent may not seem like a lot, but considering there were 128.023 million residential units in the U.S. in 2007 per the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 percent of that would be 128,023 units. It is interesting that rental vacancies have risen even more, as this indicates previous homeowners aren't necessarily renting.  

U.S. Rental & Homeowner Vacancies: 1996 to 2011 (in percent)
Source: U.S Census

Rental Vacancy Rate Homeowner Vacancy Rate
Year First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter
2011 9.7 2.6

2010 10.6 10.6 10.3 9.4 2.6 2.5 2.5 2.7
2009 10.1 10.6 11.1 10.7 2.7 2.5 2.6 2.7
2008 10.1 10 9.9 10.1 2.9 2.8 2.8 2.9
2007 10.1 9.5 9.8 9.6 2.8 2.6 2.7 2.8
2006 9.5 9.6 9.9 9.8 2.1 2.2 2.5 2.7
2005 10.1 9.8 9.9 9.6 1.8 1.8 1.9 20
2004 10.4 10.2 10.1 10 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.8
2003 9.4 9.6 9.9 10.2 1.7 1.7 1.9 1.8
2002a 9.1 8.4 9 9.3 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7
2002 9.1 8.5 9.1 9.4 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.7
2001 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.8 1.5 1.8 1.9 1.8
2000 7.9 8 8.2 7.8 1.6 1.5 1.6 1.6
1999 8.2 8.1 8.2 7.9 1.8 1.6 1.6 1.6
1998 7.7 8 8.2 7.8 1.7 1.7 1.7 1.8
1997 7.5 7.9 7.9 7.7 1.7 1.6 1.5 1.7
1996 7.9 7.8 8 7.7 1.6 1.5 1.7 1.7

* 2002a refers to revised numbers that reflect 2000 Census data.

Where did the people living in these places go? The Census statistics state persons per household have declined from 2.63 to 2.57 between 1990 and 2009. Yet household sizes across 7 categories have all increased since 1990 per the same source. The U.S. population has also increased by over 50 million since 1990. 

One possible conclusion to draw from this is that too many houses were built. In 1990 there were 91.9 million homes in the U.S., so 36.123 million homes were presumably built between 1990-2007.