Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Housing Market- #2766 - 13% of All U.S. Homes Are Vacant - Yahoo Finance (2) Homes Price Declines Deepen in Major US Markets - Yahoo Finance

High residential vacancies are killing many housing markets, as foreclosed homes sit on the market and depress sale prices and property values. And it's only getting worse: The national vacancy rate crept up to just over 13% according to last week's decennial census report. That's up from 12.1% in 2007. "More vacant homes equal more downward pressure on home prices," said Brad Hunter, chief economist for Metrostudy, a real estate information provider. Maine had the highest proportion of empty housing stock, at 22.8%. Other states with gluts of empty houses included Vermont (20.5%), Florida (17.5%), Arizona (16.3%) and Alaska (15.9%). The way the census calculates the vacancy rates, however, is problematic. It includes properties such as ski lodges, beach houses and pied-à-terres that many real estate statisticians would not......Some states have high vacancy rates even after backing out the second homes: Florida's is about 10%; Arizona's is 10.7%; and Nevada's 11.4%.Besides Connecticut, the other states with lowest vacancy rates are California, Iowa, Illinois, Virginia and Washington, all at 9.2% or lower. Read entire article.....

Home Price Declines Deepen in Major US Markets - Yahoo Finance - Damage from the housing bust is spreading to areas once thought to be immune.  In at least 14 major U.S. metro areas, prices have fallen to 2003 levels -- when the housing bubble was just starting to inflate. Prices will likely drop further this year, making many people reluctant to buy or sell. That would push down sales and prices more.  The depressed housing industry is slowing an economy that has shown strength elsewhere. And it's starting to hurt those who bought years before the housing boom began. In some cities, people who have paid their mortgages for a decade have little or no home equity.  Prices have tumbled in familiar trouble spots, such as Las Vegas, Cleveland and Detroit. But they're also at or near 10-year lows in Denver, Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis -- cities that weren't as swept up in the housing boom and bust.  Read more.........

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