Airbnb America: 5.5 MILLION homes are empty in US’s biggest cities thanks to wave of families buying up vacation properties
- There are more than 600,000 vacant homes in New Orleans, Miami and Tampa
- Total U.S. short-term rental inventory was 1.38 million in September
- The limited housing stock contributes to a historically tight market
In America’s fifty largest cities, approximately 5.5 million homes remain vacant, yet a historically low housing stock of 1 million homes is contributing to the least affordable market in decades.
New Orleans, Miami and Tampa have the highest vacancy rates in the US. According to a report, on average almost 13 percent of all homes are vacant study by Lending Treewhich ranks the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the US.
These three metropolises together contain 600,000 vacant units.
However, vacancy rates are lowest in Minneapolis, Austin and Washington, DC, the only three cities where it is less than 5 percent. In between there are another 245,000 units.
Residential units are considered vacant if they are secondary residences, short-term rentals, abandoned properties, foreclosed properties, or investment properties. Vacant homes for sale also count in the count.
According to a survey by Lending Tree, there are approximately 5.5 million vacant homes in America’s fifty largest cities.
In Miami and Tampa, the most common reason for vacancies is because units are for seasonal, recreational or occasional use. Pictured is an aerial view of Tampa, Florida
New Orleans, with a vacancy rate of 13.9 percent, has nearly 81,000 vacant homes, while Miami, with a vacancy rate of 12.7 percent, has 339,000 vacant homes. It is followed by Tampa, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama and Riverside, California.
In Miami and Tampa, the most common reason for vacancies is because units are for seasonal, recreational or occasional use.
High vacancy rates and home prices can indicate that an area has unique attractive characteristics, such as a popular vacation destination or target of investors, according to Lending Tree.
And according to the US Census Bureau, the largest category of vacant homes in the US is classified as “seasonal, recreational or occasional use.”
Total U.S. short-term rental inventory reached 1.38 million in September, an increase of 23 percent compared to the same period last year. according to NerdWallet.
The city of Bozeman, Montana, is considering a ban on short-term vacation rentals, such as Airbnbs, due to the pressure they would put on the area’s housing market.
The vacancy rate in Austin was 4.57 percent. It had a total of 48,000 vacant units. Pictured is an aerial view of the buildings along the banks of the Colorado River in Austin, Texas
Bozeman, Montana, plans crackdown on Airbnb after locals complained short-term vacation rentals had driven up prices in the city
Residents say the rising number of second-home owners buying properties in the mountain town and then renting them out on vacation rental sites like Airbnb and HomeAway are contributing to a housing shortage for locals.
Terry Cunningham, the city’s deputy mayor, said DailyMail.com in June: “Housing is disproportionately owned by retirees and investors, but they won’t fill our workforce.”
Bozeman is one of dozens of areas across the U.S. calling for a crackdown on short-term vacation rentals.
Minneapolis has the smallest vacancy rate at just 4.51 percent and 70,000 empty units. The vacancy rate in Austin was 4.57 percent, while in Washington DC it was 4.98 percent. In all three cases, the most common reason that homes are vacant is that they were for rent.