Thursday, July 15, 2010

64.5 Million Vacant Homes...

One of the tricky things facing many U.S. jurisdictions is the number of houses and apartments sitting empty.  Among other things, these can increase crime and other safety hazards.

Plus, from the private side of things, its a huge drain on future housing demand. 

That's why if you attend a typical Planning Commission meeting, you won't find many development plans or large subdivision plats on the agenda.  There just isn't enough demand with all of the currently empty housing supply in the U.S. (an amount that some like the Realtor association estimate at over 3 million).

Well, if you thought that we here in the U.S. were in a sticky wicket of sorts, then check out these new estimates of empty housing in China:  over 64 million units (note: access to the article requires a free registration to that site).

If this number is even remotely accurate (and it uses a very interesting metric to establish the estimate), then what we've seen to date in the worldwide housing crisis has been nothing more than an appetizer of problems.

--Chad Emerson, Faulkner U.

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As a student of vacant abandoned houses, I find this data more entertaining than enlightening. Vacant houses are really almost impossible to count. Even in Cleveland with its very advanced property data system, counting vacant houses is fraught with uncertainty. Vacant houses seem to be concentrated in places with very little capacity for counting. One might guess that where more than 50% of the houses sold for $10,000 or less there is a good chance that the rate of vacant houses per person is high.

Posted by: Kermit Lind | Jul 16, 2010 7:37:41 AM