Rental Vacancy Rate

Report Highlights. The national rental vacancy rate is 6.2%. Statistics indicate a growing suburban rental market.

  • The national rental vacancy rate declined 8.8% year-over-year (YoY).
  • The suburban rental vacancy rate is 5.4%.
  • 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.
  • The nationwide homeowner vacancy rate is 0.9%.

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National Map: State Rental Vacancy Rates

Seasonal 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.

  • 6.2% of habitable rental units in the United States are vacant.
  • The national vacancy rate has declined 8.8% over 12 months.
  • The lowest rental vacancy rate of 2020 was 5.7% in the second financial 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 44.1% 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 may be fleeing urban centers as a result of COVID-19.

  • The rental vacancy rate in principal cities is 6.7%, up 19.6% YoY.
  • Outside metropolitan areas, rental vacancy is 6.9%; this is down 15.9% YoY.
  • In suburban areas, the rental vacancy rate is 5.4%, up 1.9% 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.
  • As of 2021’s third financial quarter, over 490,000 Americans are set to be evicted once the moratorium on evictions ends.

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 4.8%, up 26.3% YoY.
  • In the Midwest, the vacancy rate is 7.3%, up 7.4% YoY.
  • In the Northeast, the vacancy rate is 5.6%, up 33.3% YoY.
  • Among states, Minnesota has the highest rate of new vacancies.
  • North Dakota has the highest rate of vacant units at 12.9%, down 7.7% YoY.
  • Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia all have rental vacancy rates in excess of 10%.
  • Vermont has the lowest vacancy rate at 1.8%, down 53.8% YoY.
  • Maine and Rhode Island both have vacancy rates below 3%.
  • Missouri’s rental vacancy rate is 10.4%, up 136% YoY.
State Rental Vacancy Rates, Lowest to Highest
State Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Vermont 1.8% -53%
Rhode Island 2.2% +22%
Maine 2.5% +67%
New Hampshire 3.0% +20%
New Jersey 3.5% +84%
Wisconsin 3.5% -44%
Delaware 3.8 -31%
Alaska 3.9 -48%
Idaho 4.0% 0.0%
Colorado 4.1% +58%
Nevada 4.2% -30%
Montana 4.3% -17%
North Carolina 4.4% -4.3%
Virginia 4.4% 0.0%
Massachusetts 4.5% +45%
Utah 4.6% -4.2%
Arizona 4.7% -25%
Oregon 4.7% +18%
California 4.8% +50%
Maryland 4.8% -2.0%
Nebraska 5.2% -32%
Washington 5.3% +8.3%
Connecticut 5.4% -10%
Oklahoma 5.4% -44%
Georgia 5.5% -14%
Michigan 5.9% -11%
West Virginia 6.0% -6.3%
Louisiana 6.1% -6.2%
National Average 6.2% +8.8%
New Mexico 6.5% -18%
Ohio 6.5% +23%
Pennsylvania 6.5% -8.5%
South Carolina 6.6% +6.5%
Arkansas 6.8% -15%
Hawaii 6.8% +1.5%
Kentucky 6.8% +1.5%
New York 6.8% +74%
Florida 7.5% +5.6%
Wyoming 7.5% -23%
Iowa 7.6% -24%
Tennessee 7.6 -16%
Indiana 7.8% +26%
Texas 7.9% -4.8%
Illinois 8.0% +12.7%
Kansas 8.3% -39.4%
South Dakota 8.7% +7.4%
Minnesota 8.9% +93.5%
Mississippi 10.1% +55.4%
Missouri 10.4% +136%
District of Columbia 11.0% +61.8
Alabama 12.8% -26.4%
North Dakota 12.9% -7.2%

Alabama’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 12.8%; that’s 107% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 26.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has increased 5.8%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 3.0%.
  • 27.7% of Alabama households rent.
  • The homeowner vacancy rate is 1.3%.
  • The metropolitan area of Birgmingham-Hoover has a rental vacancy rate of 11.0%.

Alaska’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.9%; that’s 37.1% below the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 48.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 48.0%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 30.4%.
  • 36.6% of Alaskan households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Anchorage metro area has a 10.3% rental vacancy rate.

Arizona’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.4%; that’s 24.2% below the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 25.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 68.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 59.5%.
  • 34.2% of Arizona households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The Tucson metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 7.4%.

Arkansas’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.5%; that’s 9.7% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 15.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 40.4%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 50.4%.
  • 33.9% of Arkansas households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 8.3%.

California’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.8%; that’s 22.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 50.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 36.0%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 20.0%.
  • 46.1% of California households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 8.7%.

Colorado’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.1%; that’s 33.9% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 57.7% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 48.1%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 69.6%.
  • 35.1% of Colorado households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.2%.
  • The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood area has an average rental vacancy rate of 3.6%.

Connecticut’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.4%; that’s 12.9% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 10.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 49.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 34.9%.
  • 34.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Hartford metropolitan area has an average rental vacancy rate of 6.4%.

Delaware’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.8%; that’s 38.7% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 30.9% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 61.6%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 66.4%.
  • 27.3% of Delaware households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The Wilmington-Camden-Philadelphia metropolitan area has an average rental vacancy rate of 5.9%.

Florida’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.5%; that’s 21.0% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 5.6% YoY.
  • Since 2010, vacant rentals have decreased 50.3%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has decreased 25,7%.
  • 33.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Cape Coral-Fort Myers has the highest vacancy rate among Florida’s major cities at 8.0%.

Georgia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.5%; that’s 11.3% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 14.1% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 55.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 62.3%.
  • 37.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 5.3%.

Hawaii’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.8%; that’s 9.7% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy from increased 1.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 16.0%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has increased 33.3%.
  • 42.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • Urban Honolulu has a rental vacancy rate 5.5%.

Idaho’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.0%; that’s 35.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy changed 0.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 54.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 42.9%.
  • 27.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • Boise has a rental vacancy rate of 4.5%.

Illinois’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.0%; that’s 29.0% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 12.7% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 27.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 40.3%.
  • 31.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metropolitan area has an 8.4% rental vacancy rate.

Indiana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.8%; that’s 25.8% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 25.8% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 33.9%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy among rental properties has decreased 45.1%.
  • 29.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson metropolitan area has a 7.9% rental vacancy rate.

Iowa’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.6%; that’s 22.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 24.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 6.2%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 42.0 %.
  • 28.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Des Moines metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 5.7%.

Kansas’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.3%; that’s 33.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 39.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 26.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 35.2%.
  • 29.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The city of Wichita has a 9.7% rental vacancy rate.

Kentucky’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.8%; that’s 9.7% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 1.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 34.6%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 39.3%.
  • 27.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • The Louisville-Jefferson County metropolitan statistical area has 12.3% rental vacancy.

Louisiana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.1%; that’s 1.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 6.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 51.2%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 30.7%.
  • 31.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.2%.
  • The New Orleans-Metairie metropolitan area has a 5.0% rental vacancy rate.

Maine’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 2.5%; that’s 59.7% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 66.7% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 59.7%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 63.2%.
  • 24.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro area has a 6.4% rental vacancy rate.

Maryland’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.8%; that’s 22.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 2.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 54.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 45.5%.
  • 30.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metropolitan area has a 5.6% rate of rental vacancy.

Massachusetts’ Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.5%; that’s 27.4% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 45.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, vacancy has decreased 31.8%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 21.1%.
  • 37.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • The Boston-Cambridge-Newton metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 5.4%.

Michigan’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.9%; that’s 4.8% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 10.6% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 55.0%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 55.0%.
  • 26.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Detroit-Warren-Dearborn metropolitan area has 6.3% rental vacancy.

Minnesota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.9%; that’s 43.5% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 93.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has increased 7.2%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 15.2%.
  • 23.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • The Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metropolitan area has a vacancy rate of 5.2%.

Mississippi’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 10.1%; that’s 62.9% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 55.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 35.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 23.5%.
  • 30.0% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.4%.
  • The city of Jackson has a 6.6% rental vacancy rate.

Missouri’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 10.4%; that’s 67.7% higher than the national average.

  • Vacancy increased 136% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 10.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 24.6%.
  • 25.4% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • St. Louis has a 7.6% rental vacancy rate.

Montana’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.3%; that’s 30.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 17.3% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 24.6%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 58.3%.
  • 32.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • Billings has a 4.3% rental vacancy rate.

Nebraska’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.2%; that’s 16.1% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 32.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 27.8%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 49.5%.
  • 33.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • The Omaha-Council Bluffs metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 6.5%.

Nevada’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.2%; that’s 32.3% lower than the national average.

  • Vacancy declined 30.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 68.7%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 50.0%.
  • 39.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 3.7%.

New Hampshire’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.0%; that’s 51.6% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 20.0% YoY.
  • Since 2010, vacancy has declined 58.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has diminished 41.2%.
  • 27.7% 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 3.5%; that’s 43.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 84.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 61.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 43.5%.
  • 38.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • Newark has a rental vacancy rate of 6.0%.

New Mexico’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.5%; that’s 4.8% higher than the national average.

  • The rate of vacant rental properties declined 17.7% YoY.
  • Since 2010, vacancy has increased 3.2%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 15.6%.
  • 32.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.1%.
  • Albuquerque has a vacancy rate of 6.3%.

New York’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.8%; that’s 9.7% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 74.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, vacancy has changed 0.0%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has risen 33.3%.
  • 46.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.4%.
  • The New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 5.9%.

North Carolina’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.4%; that’s 29.0% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 4.3% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 63.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has decreased 68.1%.
  • 33.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 3.7%.

North Dakota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 12.9%; that’s 108.1% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 7.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has risen 74.3%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has increased 51.8%.
  • 35.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.7%.
  • Fargo has a rental vacancy rate of 8.1%.

Ohio’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.5%; that’s 4.8% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 22.6% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 43.5%.
  • Since 2005, vacancy has declined 51.5%.
  • 32.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.4%.
  • Cincinnati’s rental vacancy rate is 6.4%.

Oklahoma’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.4%; that’s 12.9% lower than the national average.

  • Vacancy rates decreased 44.3% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has diminished 50.5%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has diminished 57.1%.
  • 32.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Tulsa’s rental vacancy rate is 3.5%.

Oregon’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.7%; that’s 24.2% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 17.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 14.5%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has decreased 43.4%.
  • 33.2% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.6%.
  • The Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro metropolitan area has a rental vacancy rate of 6.4%.

Pennsylvania’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.5%; that’s 4.8% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 8.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 26.1%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 35.0%.
  • 29.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.5%.
  • Pittsburgh’s vacancy rate is 9.9%.

Rhode Island’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 2.2%; that’s 64.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 22.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 69.0%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 71.4%.
  • 40.5% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Providence-Warwick metropolitan area has a 2.2% rental vacancy rate.

South Carolina’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.6%; that’s 6.5% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 6.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has diminished 52.5%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 34.0%.
  • 27.8% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville has a rental vacancy rate of 11.0%.

South Dakota’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 8.7%; that’s 40.3% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 7.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 8.4%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 1.1%.
  • 30.7% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • The rental vacancy rate in Sioux Falls is an estimated 5.0%.

Tennessee’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.6%; that’s 22.6% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 16.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 39.2%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has decreased 26.2%.
  • 31.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.9%.
  • Knoxville has a rental vacancy rate of 4.1%.

Texas’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.9%; that’s 27.4% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 4.8% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 40.6%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 41.9%.
  • 36.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.2%.
  • Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land has a vacancy rate of 7.0%.

Utah’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.6%; that’s 25.8% lowerer than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 4.2% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has decreased 36.1%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has decreased 34.3%.
  • 30.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • Salt Lake City has 6.1% rental vacancy.

Vermont’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 1.8%; that’s 71.0% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 53.8% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has diminished 70.5%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has diminished 59.1%.
  • 25.3% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.4%.
  • The Burlington metropolitan area has a 2.2% rental vacancy rate.

Virginia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 4.4%; that’s 29.0% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy held steady with a 0.0% change YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 58.1%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 43.6%.
  • 29.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria metropolitan area has a 6.2% rental vacancy rate.

Washington’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 5.3%; that’s 14.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy increased 82.8% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 24.3%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 22.1%.
  • 34.6% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.8%.
  • The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metropolitan area has a 6.0% rental vacancy rate.

West Virginia’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 6.0%; that’s 3.2% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy decreased 6.3% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 26.8%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 49.6%.
  • 21.9% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.7%.
  • The Huntington-Ashland metropolitan area has a 5.0%.

Wisconsin’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 3.5%; that’s 43.5% lower than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 44.4% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 59.3%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has declined 61.1%.
  • 30.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 0.2%.
  • The Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan area has a 1.8% rental vacancy rate.

Wyoming’s Rental Vacancy Rate

The statewide rental vacancy rate is 7.5%; that’s 21.0% higher than the national average.

  • Rental vacancy declined 23.5% YoY.
  • Since 2010, rental vacancy has declined 9.6%.
  • Since 2005, rental vacancy has increased 25.0%.
  • 28.1% of households rent.
  • Homeowner vacancy is 1.0%.
  • Cheyanne has an estimated rental vacancy rate of 1.0%.

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

Most Populated Cities’ Rental Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
New York, NY 5.9% +78.9%
Los Angeles, CA 4.8% +41.2%
Chicago, Illinois 8.4% +21.7%
Houston, Texas 7.0% -24.7%
Phoenix, AZ 4.1% -37.9%
Philadelphia, PA 5.9% +55.3%
San Antonio, TX 9.2% +10.8%
San Diego, CA 2.7% +12.5%
Dallas, TX 7.8% +32.2%
San Jose, CA 6.1% +306.7%

Local Rental Vacancy Rates

The largest cities have seen significant declines in rentership, and the lowest rental vacancy rate among major cities grew 80%.

  • Toledo, Ohio has the lowest calculable rental vacancy rate among major metropolitan areas, with 0.9% of units unrented.
  • Louisville, Kentucky has the highest vacancy rate at 12.3%.
  • The Top 5 metropolitan areas with the lowest vacancy rates did not rank within
  • Houston, Texas has a 10.9% 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 31.5%.
  • In major cities with decreased vacancy rates, the average 12-month decrease is 14.1%
Lowest Metropolitan Rental Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Toledo, OH 0.9% -80.0%
Greensboro, NC 1.6% +33.3%
Richmond, VA 1.6% -40.7%
Columbia, SC 1.7% -10.5%
Fresno, CA 1.7% +143%
Akron, OH 1.8% -77.8%
Milwaukee, WI 1.8% -66.0%
Providence, RI 2.2% -31.3%
Rochester, NY 2.2% +266.7%
Grand Rapids, MI 2.4% -67.1%

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.
Highest Metropolitan Vacancy Rates
Metropolitan Area Vacancy Rate YoY Change
Louisville, KY 12.3% +186.1%
Charleston, SC 11.0% -59.0%
Birmingham, AL 11.0% -59.7%
Orlando, FL 10.3% +12.0%
Albany, NY 10.1% +50.8%
Pittsburgh, PA 9.9% +2.1%
Kansas City, MO 9.3% -4.1%
San Antonio, TX 9.2% +10.8%
Nashville, TN 9.1% +30.0%
San Francisco, CA 8.7% +190%

Historical Rental Vacancy

While the national vacancy rate is just 5.1% higher 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.

Housing 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% 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)