The U.S. Census Bureau announced the following residential vacancies and homeownership statistics for the United States during the second quarter 2017:

  • National vacancy rates in the second quarter 2017 were 7.3 percent for rental housing and 1.5 percent for homeowner housing.
  • The rental vacancy rate of 7.3 percent was 0.6 percentage points higher than the rate in the second quarter 2016 (6.7%) and 0.3 percentage points higher than the rate in the first quarter 2017 (7.0%).
  • The homeowner vacancy rate of 1.5 percent was 0.2 percentage points lower than the rates in the second quarter 2016 and the first quarter 2017 (1.7 percent each).
  • The homeownership rate of 63.7 percent was 0.8 percentage points higher than the rate in the second quarter 2016 (62.9%) and not statistically different from the rate in the first quarter 2017 (63.6%).

The second quarter 2017 U.S. rental vacancy rate was highest outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (8.8%) while the rates inside principal cities (7.2%) and in the suburbs (7.1%) were not statistically different from each other.

U.S. Homeowner Vacancy Rate

The homeowner vacancy rate was highest outside Metropolitan Statistical Areas (2.1%).

The second quarter 2017 rental vacancy rate was highest in the South (9.0%), followed by the Midwest (8.0%), West (6.0%) and Northeast (5.2%).

Q2 2017 U.S. rental vacancy and homeownership rates
Quarterly Rental and Homeowner Vacancy Rates for the United States: 1995 – 2017

U.S. Rental Vacancy Rate

The rental vacancy rate in the West was higher than the second quarter 2016 rate, while the rates in the Northeast, Midwest and South were not statistically different from the second quarter 2016 rates.

  • The homeowner vacancy rate was higher in the South (1.8%) than in the Midwest (1.4%) and West (1.3%), but not statistically different from the rate in the Northeast (1.6%).
  • The homeowner vacancy rate in the South was lower than the second quarter 2016 rate, while the rates in the Northeast, Midwest and West were not statistically different from the second quarter 2016 rates.

The second quarter 2017 homeownership rate was highest in the Midwest (68.0%), followed by the South (65.5%), Northeast (60.4%) and West (58.9%).

  • Approximately 87.1 percent of the housing units in the United States in the second quarter 2017 were occupied and 12.9 percent were vacant.
  • Owner-occupied housing units made up 55.5 percent of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 31.6 percent of the inventory in the second quarter 2017.
  • Vacant year-round units comprised 9.8 percent of total housing units, while 3.1 percent were for seasonal use.
  • Approximately 2.5 percent of the total units were for rent, 0.9 percent were for sale only and 0.9 percent were rented or sold but not yet occupied.

Vacant units that were held off market comprised 5.5 percent of the total housing stock at 1.6 percent were for occasional use, while 1.0 percent were temporarily occupied by persons with usual residence elsewhere (URE) and roughly 2.8 percent were vacant for a variety of other reasons.

Next release date for this report from the U.S. Census Bureau: October 31, 2017