Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Recovery? US Has Enough Empty Houses to Hold Population of Britain

Daniel G. J. 
Story Leak
August 7, 2013

Here’s a sobering statistic to consider next time you see a media hype piece about the ‘real estate recovery’: There are still over 14 million homes sitting empty in the United States. At  four people per household, it is enough to comfortably hold the population of Britain.

The Census Bureau actually keeps track of the number of empty houses, and the numbers it found in the last report are bothersome. They indicate that the real estate market is still far from recovery despite the media claims of a new housing boom.

It’s an improvement over 2009 when there were 18.7 million homes sitting empty, but it’s still a bothersome figure.

Despite the TV networks’ claims of real estate in recovery, there are still 90,566 vacant foreclosures in Florida alone. There are 28,821 vacant foreclosures and distressed homes in California, where the real estate market is supposed to be recovering. Ohio has 17,367 vacant houses, mostly foreclosures. These figures don’t include other vacant homes, such as empty rentals and houses that have simply been abandoned.


The worst-hit city is Las Vegas, which still has 40,481 vacant single family homes, 5,137 empty townhomes, and 16,542 empty condominiums. These figures were found by the Lied Institute for Real Estate Studies at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas’s Lee Business school. The study has been posted online here. The city with the most empty homes, to nobody’s surprise, is Detroit, which reportedly has 79,000 vacant homes. Some of which have been sitting empty for decades

What this means is that despite claims about recovery, there is still a vast amount of real estate out there that is not selling. Some cities, including Las Vegas and Detroit, seem to be in absolute depression.

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