Rental Vacancy Rate

Last Updated: March 10, 2022

Report Highlights. The national rental vacancy rate is 5.6%. Statistics indicate a growing suburban rental market and a return to cities.

  • The national rental vacancy rate declined 13.9% year-over-year (YoY).
  • The suburban rental vacancy rate is 5.1%.
  • Rental vacancy in principal cities declined 18.6% YOY.
  • 31.5% of vacant rentals are available for rent; the rest are held off market or are otherwise unavailable.
  • The median monthly rental price among vacancies is $1,228.

Jump to a state: AL | AK | AZ | AR | CA | CO | CT | DE | DC | FL | GA | HI | ID | IL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE | NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | ND | OH | OK | OR | PA | RI | SC | SD | TN | TX | UT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY

National Map: State Rental Vacancy RatesSeasonal rental vacancies, such as vacation rentals or Airbnbs, make up 28.1% of all rental vacancies and are not included in this report.

National Rental Vacancy Rate

The national rental vacancy rate has declined steadily and significantly over the last decade or so.

  • 5.6% of habitable rental units in the United States are vacant.
  • 41.4% of vacant units have been empty for 2 months or less.
  • 6.2% of vacant units have been empty for 2 years or more.
  • The national vacancy rate has declined 13.9% over 12 months.
  • The lowest rental vacancy rate of 2021 was 5.6% in the 4th financial quarter.
  • In 2020, the lowest rental vacancy rate was 5.7% in the 2nd quarter.
  • 72.1% of rental vacancies are in multi-family units.
  • Units constructed after 2010 are the most likely to be vacant.
  • The national vacancy rate has declined 49.5% since 2009, when rental vacancy hit an all-time high (11.1%).
  • Among rental vacancies, 31.5% are available for rent.
  • The homeowner vacancy rate is 0.9%.
  • 59.9% of vacant homes are for sale.

Guide to Calculating Vacancy Rates

COVID-19 & Rental Vacancies

Statistics indicate renters that initially fled urban centers as a result of COVID-19 may be returning.

  • The rental vacancy rate in principal cities is 5.7%, down 18.9% YoY.
  • Outside metropolitan areas, rental vacancy is 7.7%; this is up 10.0% YoY.
  • In suburban areas, the rental vacancy rate is 5.1%, down 8.9% YoY.
  • Manhattan’s rental vacancy rate tripled in 2020 to 6.1%.
  • Bridgeport, Connecticut’s rental vacancy rate increased to 8.6%, up 406% between the second quarters of 2020 and 2021.
  • San Francisco’s rental vacancy rate is 8.7%, up 190% YoY.
  • 56% of major metropolitan statistical areas experienced an increase or no change in rental vacancy rates.
  • In 2021’s 3rd financial quarter, over 490,000 Americans were set to be evicted once the moratorium on evictions ended.

Regional & State Vacancy

Rental vacancy statistics indicate dramatic reduction in renters on the coasts; this may indicate a population decline or an increase in homeownership.

  • In southern states, the rental vacancy rate is 6.9%, down 6.8% YoY
  • On the West Coast, the rental vacancy rate is 4.0%, down 14.9% YoY.
  • In the Midwest, the vacancy rate is 6.5%, down 16.7% YoY.
  • In the Northeast, the vacancy rate is 4.3%, down 24.6% YoY.
  • Among states, New Hampshire has the highest rate of new vacancies with a 126.3% YoY increase.
  • Nevada has the second highest rate of increase at 113.3%.
  • Kansas and Utah had the greatest rate of decline at 46.6% and 40.7%, respectively.
  • North Dakota has the highest rate of vacant units at 12.8%, down 5.9% YoY.
  • Alabama, North Dakota, and Mississippi all have rental vacancy rates in excess of 10%.
  • New Jersey has the lowest vacancy rate at 2.5%, down 32.4% YoY.
  • New Jersey and Vermont both have vacancy rates below 3%.
State Rental Vacancy Rates
State Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Alabama 12.0% 25.0%
Alaska 3.5% -39.7%
Arizona 4.6% 0.0%
Arkansas 7.5% 5.6%
California 3.5% -28.6%
Colorado 5.2% 18.2%
Connecticut 4.7% 4.4%
Delaware 5.5% 7.8%
District of Columbia 7.6% -23.2%
Florida 5.4% -21.7%
Georgia 6.0% -23.1%
Hawaii 8.3% 16.9%
Idaho 4.8% 14.3%
Illinois 8.0% -5.9%
Indiana 9.7% -37.4%
Iowa 7.5% -11.8%
Kansas 6.3% -46.6%
Kentucky 6.0% 9.1%
Louisiana 8.0% 15.9%
Maine 5.8% 28.9%
Maryland 4.3% -12.2%
Massachusetts 3.4% -18.5%
Michigan 4.4% -18.5%
Minnesota 5.1% 0.0%
Mississippi 10.7% 46.6%
Missouri 8.0% 8.1%
Montana 4.1% 20.6%
Nebraska 4.6% -25.8%
Nevada 6.4% 113.3%
New Hampshire 4.3% 126.3%
New Jersey 2.5% -32.4%
New Mexico 6.6% 57.1%
New York 4.5% -30.8%
North Carolina 6.3% -8.7%
North Dakota 12.8% -5.9%
Ohio 5.0% -27.5%
Oklahoma 9.5% 48.4%
Oregon 3.3% -32.7%
Pennsylvania 6.0% -10.4%
Rhode Island 4.0% 25.0%
South Carolina 7.7% -35.3%
South Dakota 7.2% -28.7%
Tennessee 6.6% -10.8%
Texas 8.0% 2.6%
Utah 3.2% -40.7%
Vermont 2.7% -20.6%
Virginia 5.7% -21.9%
Washington 3.6% -5.3%
West Virginia 8.1% 14.1%
Wisconsin 5.4% 68.8%
Wyoming 7.1% -24.5%

National Map: 12-Month Rental Vacancy Rate Changes among states

Alabama’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 12.0%; that’s 114.3% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 25.0% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 19.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 12.9%.
  • 24.7% of Alabama households rent.
  • The homeowner vacancy rate is 0.8%.
  • The metropolitan area of Birgmingham-Hoover has a rental vacancy rate of 18.6%.

Alaska’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.5%; that’s 37.5% below the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 39.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 48.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 13.9%.
  • 35.6% of Alaskan households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.8%.
  • The Anchorage metro area has a 4.3% rental vacancy rate.

Arizona’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.6%; that’s 17.9% below the national average.

  • Rental vacancy remained the same YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 40.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 33.6%.
  • 33.5% of Arizona households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Tucson metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 2.1%.
  • The Phoenix-Mesa metropolitan area has a vacancy rate of 5.3%.

Arkansas’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.5%; that’s 33.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 5.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 33.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 18.2%.
  • 32.5% of Arkansas households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 11.0%.

California’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.5%; that’s 37.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 28.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 14.6%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 31.7%.
  • 45.7% of California households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 3.3%.
  • San Diego-Carlesbad’s vacancy rate is 3.3%.
  • The San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 8.7%.
  • San Jose-Sunnyvale has a rental vacancy rate of 4.6%.

Colorado’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.2%; that’s 7.1% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 18.2% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 1.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 60.7%.
  • 31.0% of Colorado households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area has an average rental vacancy rate of 5.0%.

Connecticut’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.7%; that’s 16.1% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 4.4% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 25.4%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 24.1%.
  • 31.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.3%.
  • The Hartford metropolitan area has an average rental vacancy rate of 8.2%.
  • New Haven-Milford has a rental vacancy rate of 4.4%.

Delaware’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.5%; that’s 1.8% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 7.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 14.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 43.4%.
  • 23.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.4%.
  • The Wilmington-Camden-Philadelphia metropolitan area has an average rental vacancy rate of 4.7%.

District of Columbia

The districtwide rental vacancy rate is 7.6%; that’s 35.7% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 23.2% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 40.7%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 29.9%.
  • 57.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 2.1%.

Florida’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.4%; that’s 3.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 21.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, vacant rentals have decreased 33.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 19.8%.
  • 33.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • Jacksonville’s rental vacancy rate is 2.8%.
  • Miami-Fort Lauderdale- West Palm Beach has a rental vacancy rate of 4.7%.
  • The Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater metropolitan area rental vacancy rate is 6.3%.

Georgia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.0%; that’s 7.1% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 23.1% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 25.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy %.
  • 35.2% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 4.2%.

Hawaii’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.3%; that’s 48.2% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy from increased 16.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 4.6%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 70.6%.
  • 41.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.4%.
  • Urban Honolulu has a rental vacancy rate 5.4%.

Idaho’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.8%; that’s 14.3% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 14.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 17.2%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 17.1%.
  • 30.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • Boise has a rental vacancy rate of 1.5%.

Illinois’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.0%; that’s 42.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 5.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 5.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 43.3%.
  • 31.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.3%.
  • The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan area has an 8.0% rental vacancy rate.

Indiana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 9.7%; that’s 73.2% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 37.4% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 5.4%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 35.2%.
  • 27.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area has a 7.6% rental vacancy rate.

Iowa’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.5%; that’s 33.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 11.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 27.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 55.0%.
  • 27.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Des Moines metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 4.2%.

Kansas’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.3%; that’s 12.5% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 46.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 47.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 5.5%.
  • 30.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The city of Wichita has a 9.7% rental vacancy rate.

Kentucky’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.0%; that’s 7.1% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 9.1% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 23.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 30.4%.
  • 27.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The Louisville-Jefferson County metropolitan statistical area has 7.3% rental vacancy.

Louisiana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.0%; that’s 42.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 15.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 20.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 13.6%.
  • 29.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.2%.
  • The New Orleans-Metairie metropolitan area has a 5.9% rental vacancy rate.

Maine’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.8%; that’s 3.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 28.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 31.8%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 35.3%.
  • 22.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.2%.
  • The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area has a 4.7% rental vacancy rate.

Maryland’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.3%; that’s 23.2% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 12.2% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 46.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 8.0%.
  • 30.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metropolitan area has a 5.1% rate of rental vacancy.

Massachusetts’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.4%; that’s 39.3% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 33.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, vacancy has decreased 19.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 26.3%.
  • 38.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 3.4%.

Michigan’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.4%; that’s 21.4% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 18.5% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 40.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 43.5%.
  • 27.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metropolitan area has 3.3% rental vacancy.

Minnesota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.1%; that’s 8.9% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy remained the same YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 4.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 53.3%.
  • 22.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area has a vacancy rate of 4.3%.

Mississippi’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 10.7%; that’s 91.1% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 46.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 1.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 20.5%.
  • 27.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The city of Jackson has a 6.6% rental vacancy rate.

Missouri’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.0%; that’s 42.9% higher than the national average.

  • Vacancy increased 8.1% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 12.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 34.1%.
  • 27.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.3%.
  • The Kansas City metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 8.2%.
  • The St. Louis rental vacancy rate is 5.8%.

Montana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.1%; that’s 26.8% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 20.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 7.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 63.1%.
  • 31.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Billings has a 4.3% rental vacancy rate.

Nebraska’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.6%; that’s 17.9% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 25.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 23.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 41.7%.
  • 30.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 4.4%.

Nevada’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.4%; that’s 14.3% higher than the national average.

  • Vacancy increased 113.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 20.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 4.8%.
  • 38.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 5.2%.

New Hampshire’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.3%; that’s 23.2% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 126.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, vacancy has declined 24.6%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 11.8%.
  • 24.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • In the Manchester-Nashua area, the rental vacancy rate is 3.0%.

New Jersey’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 2.5%; that’s 55.4% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 32.4% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 54.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 11.3%.
  • 37.2% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Newark has an estimated vacancy rate of 13.0%.

New Mexico’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.6%; that’s 17.9% higher than the national average.

  • The rate of vacant rental properties increased 57.1% YoY.
  • Since 2015, vacancy has declined 35.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 32.5%.
  • 30.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • Albuquerque has a vacancy rate of 5.5%.

New York’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.5%; that’s 19.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 30.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, vacancy has declined 11.8%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, the average rental vacancy remained the same.
  • 46.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.4%.
  • The New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 3.7%.

North Carolina’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.3%; that’s 12.5% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 8.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 35.7%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 29.0%.
  • 34.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 10.3%.

North Dakota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 12.8%; that’s 128.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 5.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has risen 33.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 12.9%.
  • 36.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Fargo has an estimated vacancy rate of 9.0%.

Ohio’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.0%; that’s 10.7% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 27.5% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 36.7%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 41.0%.
  • 34.2% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Columbus has a rental vacancy rate is 5.8%.

Oklahoma’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 9.5%; that’s 69.6% higher than the national average.

  • Vacancy rates increased 48.4% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 14.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 34.1%.
  • 34.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Oklahoma City’s rental vacancy rate is 7.3%.

Oregon’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.3%; that’s 41.1% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 32.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 29.8%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 43.4%.
  • 35.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.3%.
  • The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 4.7%.

Pennsylvania’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.0%; that’s 7.1% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 10.4% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 16.7%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 28.0%.
  • 29.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.4%.
  • Pittsburgh’s vacancy rate is 12.1%.

Rhode Island’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.0%; that’s 28.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 25.0% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 9.1%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 42.9%.
  • 33.2% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Providence-Warwick metropolitan area has a 3.0% rental vacancy rate.

South Carolina’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.7%; that’s 37.5% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 35.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has diminished 12.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 12.0%.
  • 25.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville has a rental vacancy rate of 18.1%.

South Dakota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.2%; that’s 28.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 28.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has increased 10.8%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 26.1%.
  • 28.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The rental vacancy rate in Sioux Falls is an estimated 6.6%.

Tennessee’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.6%; that’s 17.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 10.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 12.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 27.2%.
  • 32.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Knoxville has a rental vacancy rate of 8.5%.

Texas’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.0%; that’s 42.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 2.6 YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 17.5%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 28.7%.
  • 36.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land has a vacancy rate of 11.1%.
  • The Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington metropolitan area has a vacancy rate of 5.7%.

Utah’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.2%; that’s 42.9% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 40.7% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has decreased 37.3%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 27.1%.
  • 30.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • Salt Lake City has 2.5% rental vacancy.

Vermont’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 2.7%; that’s 51.8% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 20.6% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has diminished 40.0%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 2.3%.
  • 25.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.3%.
  • The Burlington metropolitan area has an estimated 5.0% vacancy rate.

Virginia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.7%; that’s 1.8% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy held declined 21.9% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 13.6%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 15.4%.
  • 33.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area has a 5.3% rental vacancy rate.

Washington’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.6%; that’s 35.7% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 5.3% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 21.7%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 32.4%.
  • 36.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has a 4.5% rental vacancy rate.

West Virginia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.1%; that’s 44.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 14.1% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 2.4%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 30.3%.
  • 18.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.3%.
  • The Charleston metropolitan area has an estimated vacancy rate of 14.0%.

Wisconsin’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.4%; that’s 3.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 68.8% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 1.9%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy declined 41.1%.
  • 34.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.3%.
  • The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan area has a 1.5% rental vacancy rate.

Wyoming’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.1%; that’s 26.8% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 24.5% YoY.
  • Since 2015, rental vacancy has declined 27.6%.
  • Between 2005 and 2015, rental vacancy increased 63.3%.
  • 27.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.5%.
  • Cheyanne has an estimated rental vacancy rate of 8.0%.
Most Populated Cities’ Rental Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
New York, NY 3.7% -35.1%
Los Angeles, CA 3.3% 31.3%
Chicago, Illinois 8.0% 8.1%
Houston, Texas 11.1% 50.0%
Phoenix, AZ 5.3% 35.9%
Philadelphia, PA 4.7% -20.3%
San Antonio, TX 6.1% -3.2%
San Diego, CA 3.3% -2.9%
Dallas, TX 5.7% -32.1%
San Jose, CA 4.6% -45.9%

Local Rental Vacancy Rates

The largest cities saw significant declines in rentership throughout the pandemic, but some urban centers appear to be rebounding.

  • Akron, Ohio has the lowest calculable rental vacancy rate among major metropolitan areas, with 0.7% of units unrented (an 80.6% decline YoY).
  • Birmingham-Hoover, Alabama has the highest vacancy rate at 18.6%, up 70.6% YoY.
  • Houston, Texas has an 11.1% rental vacancy rate, which is the highest vacancy rate among major cities where the population exceeds 1 million.
  • In major cities where the vacancy rate increased, the average 12-month increase is 79.0%.
  • In major cities with decreased vacancy rates, the average 12-month decrease is 36.5%
Large Metropolitan Areas with the Lowest Rental Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Akron, OH 0.7% -80.6%
Richmond, VA 1.1% -59.3%
Toledo, OH 1.2% -72.7%
Milwaukee, WI 1.5% -60.5%
Greensboro, NC 1.8% -44.8%
Riverside, California 1.8% -66.7%
Bridgeport, CT 2.1% -44.7%
Tucson, AZ 2.1% -70.8%
Allentown-Bethlehem, PA 2.5% 0.0%
Salt Lake City, UT 2.5% -54.5%

Unit Rental Vacancy Rates

Certain types of buildings or rental unit structures are more likely to have high vacancy rates. Highrise structures with many small units built after March 2010 are the most likely to have high rental vacancy rates.

  • Single family homes have a rental vacancy rate of 4.7%.
  • Efficiencies and 1-bedroom apartments have the highest vacancy rates at 24.1%.
  • Apartments with 5 or more rooms have a vacancy rate of 4.7%.
  • 45.9% of rental vacancies are units with 5 or more rooms.
  • Efficiencies and 1-bedroom apartments make up 4.5% of rental vacancies.
  • Structures of 10 units or more average 9.7% vacancy; buildings of this type are the most likely to have a high rate of vacancy.
  • 30.8% of rental vacancies are in structures with 10 or more rental units.
  • Structures built after March 2010 have a vacancy rate of 20.1%.
  • 5.1% of vacant rental units are in structures built after March 2010.
  • 17.5% of vacant rental units are in structures built prior to 1940.

Excessive Vacancies

One of the many consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the changes in desirable housing characteristics. Localities expecting continued growth are full of new vacancies, leading some communities to experience excessive rental vacancy rates or “hypervacancy”.

  • A rental vacancy rate of 12% or more is considered “high”; a vacancy rate of 20% or more is hyper-vacancy.
  • With a 26.8% vacancy rate, Charleston, South Carolina was experiencing hypervacancy in the second quarter of 2020.
  • Among the Top 10 emptiest cities, 3 have seen vacancies increase by over 100% in the last 12 months.
  • In Sarasota, Florida, vacancies have nearly tripled.
  • In Philadelphia, vacant properties have resulted in $3.6 billion in reduced household wealth.
  • The effect of one vacant property on the block could reduce the value of nearby properties by 20% or more.
Large Metropolitan Areas with the Highest Rental Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Birmingham, AL 18.6% 70.6%
Charleston, SC 18.1% -37.2%
Pittsburgh, PA 12.1% 75.4%
Syracuse, NY 12.0% -14.3%
Dayton, OH 11.9% 35.2%
Houston, TX 11.1% 50.0%
Little Rock, AR 11.0% 96.4%
Baton Rouge, LA 10.3% 0.0%
Charlotte, NC 10.3% 63.5%
Austin, TX 9.7% 223.3%

Historical Rental Vacancy

While the national vacancy rate is just 5.1% lower than it was in 1956, the market has seen volatile changes in the past decade alone.

  • From 2010 to 2020, rental vacancy rates declined 39.6% or at an annual rate of 3.96%.
  • The steepest decline in rental vacancy was between 1965 and 1971, when rates declined 37.6% or at an annual rate of 6.27%.
  • The steepest incline in rental vacancy was between 1957 and 1961, when rates increased 68.9% or at an annual rate of 17%.
  • 1978 to 1988, rental vacancy rates rose 60%, or at an annual rate of 6%
  • From 2000 to 2004, vacancy rates rose 31.6% or annual rate of 7.9%.
  • From 2005 to 2010, housing vacancies overall increased 26.3%.

Line Graph: Rental Vacancy Rates in the U.S. 1956-2020, Percent, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Rent Prices & Vacancy Rates

As a general rule, rent prices increase as vacancy rates decrease. As empty units diminish, finding an apartment becomes more difficult, and property owners are able to ask for higher prices.

  • The median asking rent for vacant units nationwide is $1,228, up 5.9% YoY.
  • The average renter pays $1,149 monthly.
  • The median rent paid is $909 monthly.
  • Units that rent for less than $350 have the lowest vacancy rates at 1.6%.
  • Units with monthly rent prices of $2,000 or more have a 9.9% vacancy rate, a 7.6% decline YoY.
  • According to Zillow’s methodology, typical monthly rent prices run as high as $1,843.
  • In 80% of U.S. counties, the average full-time worker cannot afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment.

Bar Graph: Rental Vacancy Rates by Monthly Rent Prices

Vacancy vs. Availability & Affordability

A vacant apartment is not necessarily available, and those that are available are not necessarily affordable.

  • 31.5% of all vacant homes are available for rent, up 15.0% YoY.
  • 68.5% of vacant housing units are being held off-market.
  • 8.6% of vacant homes are for sale only while 8.4% have already rented or sold.
  • United States National Housing Act of 1937’s 1981 revision established the ‘30% Rule’ — i.e., housing costs should not exceed 30% of renter income.
  • According to the 30% Rule, there are 37 affordable homes for every 100 low-income renters.
  • The median rent burden for millennials, the most significant renter segment in most regions, is 45%.
  • Households who spend more than 50% of their income on housing are considered to be severely cost-burdened.

Homeowner Vacancies

Owner-occupied homes see lower vacancy rates on average than rentals do. The current homeowner vacancy rate is 0.9%.

  • In the past decade, housing vacancies have declined at an average annual rate of 6.4%.
  • Housing vacancies have declined 67.9% since their historic high point in 2008.
  • The national rate of homeownership is 67.4%.
  • The rate of homeownership increased 4.0% over 12 months from 2019 to 2020.
  • The Midwest has the highest rate of homeownership at 71.2%.

Seasonal Vacancies

Seasonal vacancies are irrelevant for most of this report. It’s not uncommon, however, for landlords in some communities to turn their traditional rental properties into Airbnbs. The trend reversed with travel restrictions in 2020.

  • Reservations on hotel booking sites fell 90% in 10 months.
  • Usership on hotel booking and reservation sites is down 42%.
  • 34% of vacation homes are in the suburbs.
  • 33% of vacation home properties are on a beach.
  • 19% are in urban areas or cities.
  • 15% are in the countryside.

Sources

  1. United States Census Bureau (Census), Housing Vacancies and Homeownership
  2. U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey: Housing Characteristics Data Tables
  3. Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies, America’s Rental Housing 2020
  4. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), National Housing Market Summary
  5. HUD, Rental Burdens: Rethinking Affordability Measures
  6. Elliman Report October 2020, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens Rentals
  7. Freddie Mac Multifamily Research Center, 2020 Midyear Outlook
  8. Bloomberg CityLab, The Disturbing Rise of Housing Vacancy in US Cities
  9. The Empty House Next Door: Understanding and Reducing Vacancy and Hypervacancy in the United States
  10. Zillow, October 2020 Market Report & Weekly Market Data (Through Nov. 14)
  11. Travel Daily News, Vacation Rental Revenues Halved Amid COVID-19 Crisis, Entire Industry to Lose $35B in 2020
  12. Zillow Research, After Supreme Court Ruling, More Than 3 Million Americans Are Still At-Risk of Eviction
  13. Zillow Research, Rent Prices Soar Beyond Pre-Pandemic Projections (July 2021 Market Report)
  14. The State of Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Research and Analysis: Alaska Rental Costs and Vacancy Rates, All Units, Selected Areas, 2010-2021
  15. Keller Williams Realty Boise, Boise Rental Market & Vacancy Rates
  16. Business Record, Des Moines Area’s Apartment Vacancy Rate Slips to 4.2%
  17. TownCharts Think Tank, United States Housing Data
  18. South Dakota Multi-Housing Association, Sioux Falls Vacancy