Census reports show Richmond, VA as having the highest rental vacancy rate in the nation:
The Census Bureau reported this month that the Richmond area had a rental vacancy rate of 23.7 percent. That puts Richmond in the unenviable position of being the worst rental market out of the nation’s 75 largest metropolitan areas. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the Census Bureau reported Richmond’s vacancy rate was 16.3 percent. For comparison, the vacancy rate in Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News was 8.4 percent.
Patrick McCloud, chief executive of the Central Virginia Apartment Association, said he isn’t seeing the vacancy rate reported by the Census Bureau. His association just completed a survey of 52 multi-family apartment properties and calculated an 8 percent vacancy rate. The data were collected Jan. 15 through Jan. 25.
McCloud said that even an 8 percent vacancy rate is unhealthy. A normal vacancy rate for the area is between 4 percent and 5 percent, he said.