Home jobs in Maryland, Virginia, about 10%; not a red flag

Even in this narrow housing market in 2020 in the US there were 16 million homes classified as “vacant”, «

Even in this narrow housing market in 2020 in the US there were 16 million homes classified as “vacant”, this is the most recent year of the available data.

Some are so-called “zombie ransoms,” houses that stand empty and wait for the bank to sell them, and some are dilapidated or run-down houses that can wait for a buyer or a bulldozer. And these are potential red flags of an unhealthy neighborhood or housing market.



The vacancy rate in Maryland was 9.4% and in Virginia – 10.4%, according to a poll by the US Census Bureau. Both are below the national average and indicate low disaster rates and owners who are permanent residents.

Homes can be empty for many other reasons. At the time of the survey, they may have been in rehab for resale, or these were second homes occupied by the owners, and so vacancy rates are not necessarily a sign of a market crisis. In fact, it could have been just the opposite.

As with everything in the current housing market, there are nuances.

“If you look at an area where housing prices are very low but the vacancy rate is very high, it can tell us that there is something in this area that is just unattractive to home buyers. On the other hand, you can look at an area where vacancies are really high but housing prices are really high, and you can conclude that this is just a very popular holiday destination, ”said Jacob Chanel, senior economist at LendingTree.

Vacancy rates are highest in the southern states and New England.

“In New England these are houses that are in good condition but for some reason their owner does not want to use them most of the time. Winters in New England can be harsh. You also have a lot of people who live, for example, in New York, where they work full time, but want somewhere to run away, ”Channel said.

“South is more the other way around. Poverty is higher in the south. Income levels may be lower in the south. So there may be more homes that are banned. ”

The vacancy rate in Vermont is 22.9% and in Maine – 22.7%. In Alabama, the vacancy rate is 17.7%, and in Mississippi – 16.3%.

The list of LendingTree states with the highest and lowest vacancy rates and its findings on what it does, rather than mean for individual markets, is online.

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