Nearly One in Five Florida Homes Are Empty

Categories: Unreal Estate
Here's a staggering statistic from the continued fallout of Florida's real estate bust: 18 percent of homes in Florida, or nearly one in five, sit empty. That's a 62 percent increase in empty homes in the past ten years, and the surplus of inventory on the market ensures that home prices aren't likely to rise again anytime soon. 
Luckily for locals, the vacancy rate in Miami-Dade is only 12 percent, but the counties along Florida's southern Gulf Coast were hit particularly hard. Collier County, home to Naples and once one of the fastest-growing areas in America, has a staggering vacancy rate of 32 percent. Neighboring Lee County is plagued with 30 percent vacancy, and Sarasota County has 23 percent.

To put the statistic in perspective, several other states with real estate woes come nowhere close to Florida's 18 percent. In California, only 8 percent of homes are empty, 14 percent in Nevada, and 16 percent in Arizona.

Analysts don't expect the problem to correct itself anytime soon. One analyst for Moody's Econimcs doesn't expect Naples to fully recover until the 2030s and doesn't think home prices across the state will hit rock-bottom until mid-2012.

"It will take about eight years just to put the vacancy numbers back into the single digits," Richard DeKaser, an economist with the Parthenon Group, tells CNNMoney.

Part of the problem can be blamed on investors who snapped up prebuilt homes, driving growth, and hoping to flip them on the market for a profit. Now those investors are sitting with empty houses and no one to buy them. Florida's slowing population growth also hasn't helped matters.

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Cape Coral Properties
Cape Coral Properties

Just wanted to respond. Agree with you Kyle. Foreclosure rate in Florida last month was too high it's been since the current recession began,because the unemployment rate remains dangerously high.

Randy Dallmann
Randy Dallmann

I've been looking at alot of these homes on the gulf side. Doesn't look like they even made it up the flipping chain. Their are hundreds of houses built in 06 and 07 that have never been lived in. Looks like massive overbuilding to me.


From the article: "Part of the problem can be blamed on investors who snapped up prebuilt homes, driving growth, and hoping to flip them on the market for a profit. "

ARE YOU SERIOUS? I find it insulting that you fail to mention the other MAJOR part of the problem which was the banks' role in selling crap loans to people and once the loan is taken it's then sold off to another bank that does not have the same financial strength as the original bank AND when the tough times came were unable to work with these investors and homeowners.

Looking back now it's the people who gave up on the banks early and lived in those homes for 2-3 years not paying while waiting for the banks to get off their asses and eventually those investors and homeowners walked away sooner vs later and ended up making out ok.

It's incredible you only blame investors and neglect to mention the banks that approved loan products that never should have existed. You also fail to mention how incompetent the banks are in trying to renegotiate mortgages.

Years ago I saw people walking away frustrated with the banks. I was shocked and I held on. I tried to work with my bank but they were useless especially b/c I was not late or behind ever on a payment. Finally I started playing their game, I just stopped caring or paying.. do you blame me for this crisis? I just walked away when my condo lost 75% of what I paid for it.. yeah I should keep paying b/c I signed a contract.. pfft.... I short sold that pig and the bank ate the loss. I started to play their dirty game and I came out alive.

Let's not forget developers either who promised the world and didn't deliver... umm Midtown, with developers like Michael Samuels and his buddies? What about Miami Dade approving some of these projects and people like Marc Sarnoff who kisses the developers' asses while not giving a crap about people who signed on to these projects. These people are pigs and poorly planned these projects. Greed wasn't just coming from the little guy trying to own a home or rental property.

Banks were greedy, developers were greedy Miami - Dade = Incompetent.

Kyle - you really missed the boat here. You pulled one lousy statistic off google and wrote a tiny article and blamed the little guy for everything.. Whoa --- WRONG!

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