Monday, March 24, 2014

Vacant Homes

The Great Recession starting in 2008 hit the housing industry hard.  New constructions plummeted.  Foreclosures skyrocketed.  Displaced former owners moved into rental property.

This map shows a snapshot from the 2010 Census of the percentage of vacant properties in each state.  So, I'm not sure how much of this pattern results from the Great Recession.  California and Nevada for instance had a large number of foreclosed properties, but the percentages of vacant housing are low there for 2010.

After looking at the Census definitions, I think this pattern is driven largely by vacation homes which are absent during parts of the year.  Note that more than a fifth of housing units are vacant in Vermont and Maine.  I suspect that beach and winter vacation homes in Florida, Myrtle Beach (SC), and Rehoboth Beach (DE) as well as summer homes in New England, Montana, and Alaska produce this pattern.  I once visited Skagway, Alaska.  I recall being told that the town had over 1000 residents in the summer but only about 100 through the winter.

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