Vacancies lead to falling home prices
2009/05/05, 6:35 pm
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The cities with the most vacant homes are in economically troubled areas – definitely not boom towns.

The Associated Press analyzed data from the U.S. Postal Service and Housing and Urban Development to determine that as of March 31, three percent of U.S. homes had been empty for 90 days. That’s about four million homes, down slightly from the number of vacancies a year ago.

Experts say that vacant houses lead to declining property values and falling tax revenues. As the neighborhoods begin to look increasingly shabby, there are fewer interested buyers and that leads to more vacancies. “It becomes a vicious cycle,” said Jennifer Vey, a researcher with the Brookings Institution.

The ten counties with the most vacancies are:

  1. Franklin, Ohio (Columbus)
  2. Hamilton, Ohio (midway between Cincinnati and Dayton)
  3. Berkeley, S.C. (Charleston)
  4. Wayne, N.C. (Goldsboro)
  5. El Paso, Colo. (Colorado Springs)
  6. Yuba, Calif. (near Sacramento)
  7. Cook, Ill. (Chicago)
  8. Montgomery, Ohio (Dayton)
  9. Marion, Ind. (formerly home to many automotive plants)
  10. Baltimore City, Md. (Baltimore)

Source: The Associated Press, Dan Sewell and Frank Bass (05/04/2009)


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