Residential vacancies, homeownership both down during second quarter

National vacancy rates, along with homeownership, were down during the second quarter.According to a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau, the rates for both residential vacancies, including rentals and houses, and homeownership declined during the second quarter.The report revealed the rental vacancy rate settled at 9.2 percent, which is 1.4 percent lower than the second quarter of 2010 and down 0.5 percent from last quarter. The rate of homeowner vacancies during the quarter was 2.5 percent, which was the same as last year, but down 0.1 percent from the year's first three months.While these lower figures may spark optimism regarding for the country's housing sector, the national homeownership rate also fell, slipping 1 percent below the total from last year and 0.5 percent from the previous quarter.Regionally, the South had the highest vacancy rates in both housing sectors, with 11.4 percent of rental properties being vacated and 2.7 percent of homes.The region's declining rate of vacancies may improve its home prices, as fewer distressed properties would be available for prospective buyers. For instance, during June, single-family Houston properties averaged $228,650, up from $220,427 from the previous year, according to the Houston Association of Realtors.Courtesy of 2M Realty News

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