The Nation’s Emptiest Cities

Numbers just released by RealtyTrac indicate that for most challenged housing markets, the problem is tight supply. But in a few metro areas, the vacancy rate is still far above the overall nation’s — almost five times worse in Flint, Michigan, for example.

The national vacancy rate is 1.6 percent, but in Flint — the emptiest metro area in the nation — it’s 7.5 percent. In Detroit, it’s 5.3 percent. Other (relatively) empty cities include Youngstown, Ohio (4.4 percent); Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas (3.8 percent); Atlantic City, New Jersey (3.7 percent); Indianapolis (3.0 percent); Tampa (2.9 percent); Miami (2.8 percent); Cleveland (2.8 percent); and St. Louis (2.6 percent).

More than three-quarters of vacant homes are investment properties, RealtyTrac says, and in some cities the share is 90 percent or more.

In Flint, almost a quarter of investment properties are vacant.

You can read the full report and methodology at

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