The 10 Markets with the Most Empty Homes
10) Las Vegas, Nev.
> Vacancy rate: 5.8%
> Median price per square foot: $73
> Unemployment: 11.5%
It is not surprising that Las Vegas, the poster child of the housing downturn, adds high vacancy rates to its litany of problems with overbuilding and high foreclosure rates. Between peak and trough, Las Vegas housing prices plummeted by 60.4%. This decline in home values in Las Vegas and other housing markets in the state have contributed to Nevada being the only state in the country where the total worth of homes is less than the total amount owed on these homes.
9) Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
> Vacancy rate: 6.1%
> Median price per square foot: $83
> Unemployment: 9.1%
The vacancy rate in Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville in October climbed 8.3% from last year, the highest of all increases on this list. Homes in Palm Bay specifically are going very cheaply these days — the median sale price between Aug. and Oct. 2012 dropped by 2.6% from the previous year to only $76,000. In Palm Bay Colony, which Trulia notes is among the most popular (i.e., most searched) neighborhood in that city, the current average listing price is just $58,704.
Also Read: The Only Housing Markets to Drop This Year
8) Cleveland, Ohio
> Vacancy rate: 6.2%
> Median price per square foot: $78
> Unemployment: 6.5%
Unlike metropolitan areas in Florida and Nevada, the housing market crash was not nearly as bad in Ohio. In Cleveland, the price drop from peak to trough was 17.6%, a far more modest decline compared to cities such as Las Vegas. Despite faring better than many markets, Cleveland is not yet showing many signs of turning a corner. On top of high vacancy rates, the average price per square foot is unchanged on a year-over-year basis, and the number of sales have dropped by nearly 20% in the same period. Further, while 1,754 resale and new homes are for sale in Cleveland, as per Trulia’s site, another 5,451 homes are in some phase of the foreclosure process.
7) Toledo, Ohio
> Vacancy rate: 6.5% (tied for 4th highest)
> Median price per square foot: $69
> Unemployment: 7.2%
There are some encouraging signs in the Toledo housing market despite its high vacancy rate. The median price per square foot is up about 60% on a year-over-year basis, according to Trulia. Another measure, however, points to an inventory problem: for each new or resale home listed on Trulia, there are two homes in the foreclosure pipeline that are either vacant or will enter the market at some point. The peak-to-trough price decline of 18.2% remains a challenge in a market that saw just a 4.6% price increase on a year-over-year basis.
6) Dayton, Ohio
> Vacancy rate: 6.6% (tied for 4th highest)
> Median price per square foot: $72
> Unemployment: 6.9%
If Dayton is starting to blossom into a rosier housing market, it is not yet evident in the area’s housing statistics. In addition to high vacancy rates, the data show a decrease in housing prices per square foot on a year-over-year basis along with a drop in the median sales price. Sales volume in the city climbed just 2.6% in the same period. The 11.8% peak-to-trough drop in the area was not the worst in Ohio, but that is not much to cheer about. Still, for homebuyers, a median sale price of $73,658 must have a certain appeal.