Nov 21, 2023 - Economy

Home vacancies near all-time lows as housing shortage bites

Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

This housing shortage is historic.

Why it matters: High housing costs are a key driver of the sour sentiment Americans feel about a U.S. economy that by most traditional measures is quite good.

State of play: One gauge of the tightness of the U.S. housing market — the percentage of homes that are vacant — fell to the lowest level on record in August, and ticked up only slightly in September.

  • Meanwhile, on Friday, data on newly started homebuilding showed an unexpected increase for the second straight month, implying that home builders are making some effort to increase supply.
  • Yes, but: Housing analysts suggest there is way too little construction to have any hope of meeting demand any time soon.

Go deeper: America's homebuyers are getting older

Go deeper