Florida currently has 1.6 million vacant homes, the most in the country, report says

The Sunshine State also ranked sixth with the highest vacancy rate.

click to enlarge Florida currently has 1.6 million vacant homes, the most in the country, report says
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Despite the large number of people moving to Florida, a new study found that over 1.6 million homes are sitting vacant.

A recent report from LendingTree, an online lending site, analyzed the latest U.S. Census Bureau data and ranked the nation’s 50 states according to unoccupied homes. The survey measured the overall vacancy rate in a state by dividing the number of vacant households by the total number of households.

Florida ranked sixth with the highest vacancy rate, but first in the largest number of empty homes.

According to the data, out of Florida’s 9,814,540 total housing units, 1,680,844 are vacant – resulting in a 17.13% vacancy rate. The study also details that in Florida the median home value is $261,500.

Florida’s vacancy rate was preceded by Vermont, Maine, Alaska, West Virginia and Alabama. The states with the lowest rates were Oregon, Washington and Connecticut.

The report also explains that home prices in states with higher vacancy rates are often, but not always, lower than in states with lower vacancy rates. This is true for Florida as the median home value in the states with lower rates range from $287,500 to $419,500.

A lot of factors can affect this number, according to LendingTree, including location, the kind of rates being offered to borrowers, square footage and more. These numbers can help understand the health of an area’s housing market.

These numbers might be a surprise for some, but not necessarily in the Tampa Bay area as its ongoing housing crisis has caused home prices to skyrocket – ranking the city as the nation's second largest increase in home prices.

For Tampa, this data can be reflected in the lack of affordable housing and the controversy regarding rent control, further raising the question of why people are still moving here?

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Sofía García Vargas

Sofía García Vargas, born in Colombia, South America and raised in Costa Rica, Central America, is a journalism student at the University of South Florida and Editor-in-Chief of The Crow’s Nest, USF St. Petersburg’s student newspaper. Her passions range from art and music to sports and food. She dreams of becoming...
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