A record 18.6 million U.S. homes stood empty in the first quarter as lenders took possession of a growing number of properties in foreclosure.
The figure is 5.7 percent higher than a year ago, when 17.6 million properties were vacant, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The vacancy rate, the share of homes empty and for sale, rose to 2.9 percent, the highest in a series that goes back to 1956. About 2.3 million empty homes were for sale, compared with 2.2 million a year earlier, the report said.
The worst U.S. housing slump in more than a quarter century is deepening as falling values encourage buyers to delay purchases in hopes of getting a better deal. The median U.S. home sale price may drop 5.8 percent in 2008, the most on record, followed by another 4.7 percent decline next year, Fannie Mae, the world's largest mortgage buyer, said April 7.
I wonder how the NAR is spinning this news?