If you live in a large Midwestern city, you may see more empty homes than usual.
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According to new research from 24/7 Wall St., that's where a "large number" of vacant properties in the U.S. can be found. The vacancy rate in the country is at a low point right now — a reported 1.4 percent, but some areas are still plagued by unoccupied single-family homes. Meanwhile, vacancy rates for rental housing are at 7 percent for the first quarter of 2019, data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows.
"The first quarter 2019 rental vacancy rate was highest outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (10.0 percent) and lowest in the suburbs (6.2 percent)," the government agency explained in a recent report. "The homeowner vacancy rates outside MSAs (1.6 percent) was higher than the rate in the suburbs (1.3 percent), but not statistically different from the rate in principal cities (1.4 percent)."
Though pending U.S. homes sales increased by 4.6 percent in January, two major U.S. regions saw a slight decline in sales (down 0.4 percent) in April, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). In total, sales are down about 4.4 percent from a year prior.
But Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist, is optimistic about the U.S. housing market
“First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions,” he said in an online statement. “Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”
To determine which U.S. cities are noticing an increase in vacancies this year, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed — using tax assessor data compiled by property data company ATTOM Data Solutions at the end of 2018's third quarter — nearly 16,000 ZIP codes, marking which appeared to have the highest number of single-family houses or condos that were empty.
The site found Gary, Indiana, had an extremely high percentage — nearly 20 percent — of vacant homes. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Flint, Michigan, also had a very high vacancy rate at nearly 17 and 16 percent, respectively.
Here's a look at 15 cities in the U.S. that have the most vacant homes, per 24/7 Wall St.
- Gary, Indiana:19.4%
- Hilton Head Island, South Carolina: 16.9%
- Flint, Michigan: 15.7%
- Detroit, Michigan: 11.2%
- Baltimore, Maryland: 8.1%
- Kansas City, Missouri: 5.6%
- Birmingham, Alabama: 5.5%
- Mobile, Alabama: 5.1%
- St. Petersburg, Florida: 5.1%
- West Palm Beach, Florida: 4.8%
- Cleveland, Ohio: 4.5%
- Dayton, Ohio: 4.3%
- Indianapolis, Indiana: 4.1%
- St. Louis, Missouri:4.0%
- Memphis, Tennesee: 3.7%
To see the site's full list click here.