This American City Has the Most Vacant Homes

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The U.S. housing market is at one of its strongest points in decades — and U.S. vacancy rates reflect that strength. Nationwide, just 1.52% of single-owner homes and condos are vacant, one of the lowest points in years. The last time vacancy rates were so low was the 1990s.

To identify the American cities with the most vacancies, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the number of single family homes and condos that are unoccupied in 15,957 ZIP codes. Occupancy status was determined by ATTOM Data Solutions using tax assessor data for the end of the third quarter of 2018.

Of the 29 cities where at least 5,000 single-family homes and condos are vacant, the vacancy rate exceeds the national rate of 1.52% in all but two cases. In most of the cities on this list, the rate is well beyond that figure. The cities on this list with the highest rates — places like Flint and Detroit, Michigan and Gary, Indiana — are often legacy cities well known for their long-term economic decline due to deindustrialization. In these cities, vacancy rates are well in excess of 10%.

A large number of the American cities with the most vacant homes can be found in the Midwest.  In many of these cities, including those suffering from long term industrial decline, relatively high vacancy rates may be due in part to new regulations that have made buying a home harder.

While a high number of home vacancies coincides with lower home prices, the cities on this list do not necessarily have the least expensive housing market in their states.

City State Population 2018 Single family homes 2018 Vacant Homes 2018 Vacant Homes
United States United States 328,839,750 95,126,759 1,447,906 1.52%
Pompano Beach Florida 453,887 151,054 5,010 3.32%
Mobile Alabama 273,256 98,891 5,049 5.11%
Louisville Kentucky 746,867 241,973 5,062 2.09%
San Antonio Texas 1,700,582 458,505 5,206 1.14%
Hilton Head Island South Carolina 42,535 30,945 5,229 16.90%
Jacksonville Florida 832,821 263,708 5,491 2.08%
West Palm Beach Florida 355,274 118,888 5,670 4.77%
Gary Indiana 82,349 29,501 5,728 19.42%
Tucson Arizona 884,283 254,454 5,830 2.29%
Kansas City Missouri 327,912 109,260 6,077 5.56%
Phoenix Arizona 1,400,479 365,582 6,193 1.69%
Dayton Ohio 420,498 145,578 6,269 4.31%
Atlanta Georgia 686,577 198,848 6,350 3.19%
Oklahoma City Oklahoma 552,472 184,297 6,362 3.45%
Saint Petersburg Florida 351,709 135,921 6,893 5.07%
Memphis Tennessee 684,828 198,711 7,433 3.74%
Fort Lauderdale Florida 813,236 273,921 7,504 2.74%
Miami Florida 1,829,999 490,243 7,589 1.55%
Birmingham Alabama 438,725 148,174 8,107 5.47%
Saint Louis Missouri 616,101 219,155 8,662 3.95%
Flint Michigan 156,738 57,118 8,986 15.73%
Cleveland Ohio 738,683 208,952 9,386 4.49%
Houston Texas 3,098,550 708,259 10,228 1.44%
Indianapolis Indiana 930,784 271,488 11,104 4.09%
Chicago Illinois 2,696,991 583,375 11,358 1.95%
Las Vegas Nevada 1,496,538 460,309 11,371 2.47%
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 1,560,023 469,643 11,910 2.54%
Baltimore Maryland 630,714 215,810 17,382 8.05%
Detroit Michigan 640,125 222,119 24,780 11.16%