The U.S. Census Bureau has reported that the homeownership rate in the second quarter of 2010 stands at 66.9 percent, and the number of vacant properties or homes for sale remained unchanged at 2.5 percent. The last time the rate was lower was in 1999, when the homeownership rate was 66.7 percent. According to RealtyTrac, banks have seized 816,000-plus homes through the September 2010 and are on pace to seize more than a million before the close of 2010.
Approximately 18.8 million homes (14.4 percent of all houses and apartments) were vacant, according to the Census Bureau report. Without vacation homes, that rate would be 11 percent. According to the report, of the estimated 131 million housing units nationwide, the number of vacant homes has risen over the past few years from 16 million at the start of 2006, nearing the 19 million mark since the end of 2008. Nearly 2.5 percent of all primary residences were vacant and for sale and 10.3 percent of all year-round rental units were listed as vacant and for rent.
The Census Bureau noted that foreclosures are counted as vacant homes for sale or rent, or as owner-occupied properties if lenders have not yet evicted the previous owners, as there were approximately 1.9 million empty properties on the market, down slightly from the mark of two million in the second quarter of 2010.
For more information, visit www.census.gov.