The number of vacant homes in an area can greatly reflect the overall health of the local housing market and be an indicator of how easy it may be to buy or sell there, according to a new analysis from LendingTree, an online mortgage marketplace.
Buyers generally will have more choices and leeway in negotiations in areas with high vacancy rates. Sellers, on the other hand, may have to wait longer for a sale as they face greater competition. In areas with lower vacancy rates, however, homeowners may be able to sell their homes quickly and for higher prices, and buyers may have less wiggle room negotiations.
LendingTree ranked the nation’s 50 largest metro areas from highest to lowest vacancy rates. The areas with higher vacancy rates tend to be more affordable to the average consumer—but not always, researchers note.
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