According to Bloomberg.com, more than 18.7 million homes stood empty in the United States in the second quarter of 2009.
How many is that? I love the context TreeHugger put it in when they said that, assuming four people per household, the U.S. currently has enough surplus housing to house the entire population of the U.K. with room left over for Israel. That’s a lot of empty houses!
According to the Census Bureau, there were 130.8 million homes in the U.S. in the second quarter and 14% of them were vacant. In addition to the 1.9 million empty properties for sale, the report counted 4.4 million vacant homes for rent and 4.6 million seasonal properties that are only used for part of the year. Foreclosures accounted for 7.8 million empty properties in the same quarter.
In the first 1/2 of 2009, more than 1.5 million properties, one in every 84 U.S. households, received a foreclosure filing according to Realty Trac. One in every 8 households with a mortgage was late on their payments or already in foreclosure.
The inventory of homes on the for sale market averaged 3.8 million in each of 2009’s first six months according to data from the National Association of Realtors. Last year, the monthly average was 4.2 million. Why is the “for sale” inventory down in 2009? Obviously, some houses have sold but many home sellers have simply given up and taken their properties off the market, waiting for a better time to sell.
Do you have a property to sell? Is this a good time to put it on the market? What are your options?