Fewer Americans own homes in the first quarter of 2010 than in any quarter since the beginning of 2000, according to data from the Census Bureau. The seasonally adjusted homeownership rate fell from 67.3 percent to 67.2 percent. It is the lowest rate in almost a decade, and the effects are moving from the national to the local level. Though it took some time to reach our community, we are beginning to see more foreclosures and more vacant homes in College Station and Bryan.
The national vacancy rate for homeowner housing remained at a low 2.6 percent. At the beginning of 2010, there were more than 19 million vacant homes in the U.S. – both rentals and homeowner. That is more than 14 percent of the total national market – nearly 130.9 million housing units. Homeowner vacancies reached 2.8 percent in the South, which has the highest vacany rate of any region. The West followed with a 2.7 percent vacancy rate. The Midwest was third with 2.6, and the Northeast had the smallest rate at 1.8 percent.
Though it is a rough time for the real estate market overall, these conditions make for an excellent buyer’s market. Low rates and tax credits combined with foreclosures (on which buyers will often get greatly reduced prices) give the buyer more opportunities, more power, and more options from which to choose. For example, there are many foreclosed properties from which to choose in College Station and Bryan. A short list is available here: http://claylee.thecenturytreereader.com/2010/06/15/available-foreclosures-in-college-station-bryan/
If you are interested in viewing a home or making an appointment to discuss the benefits of homeownership and purchasing in a buyer’s market, please call me at (979) 255-1839.
Clay Lee – Realtor
Century 21 Beal, Inc.
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