NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — 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%).