Approximately 86.1% of U.S. housing units in the first quarter were occupied and 13.9% were vacant, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Census Bureau.
Owner-occupied housing units made up 56.3% of total housing units, while renter-occupied units made up 29.8% of the first quarter's inventory. Vacant year-round units comprised 10.6% of total housing units, while 3.4% were for seasonal use.
The national vacancy rate for homeownership during the first quarter of this year was 2.2%. The first-quarter level was 0.4% lower than the first-quarter 2011 rate and 0.1% below the fourth-quarter 2011 rate of 2.3%. The first quarter's homeownership rate of 65.4% was 1% lower than the first-quarter 2011 rate of 66.4% and 0.6% lower than the fourth-quarter 2011 rate of 66%.
The national vacancy rate in the first quarter for rental housing was 8.8%, a 0.9% drop from the first-quarter 2011 rate and a 0.6% decline from the fourth quarter of 2011.