A combination of a saturated housing market and economic recession has left more than one-fifth of the houses in Maine vacant. The United States in general has experienced a sharp increase in housing vacancies — in fact, about 12 percent of the houses in the U.S. are vacant.
More facts about housing vacancies:
- Maine is not the only U.S. state to experience a high housing vacancy rage — about 20 percent of the houses in Florida and Vermont are vacant. More than 16 percent of houses in Arizona are vacant, as are about 15 percent in Nevada.
- Although many houses in Maine are vacant, about two-thirds of them are vacation homes. In other states, however, most of the vacant houses have been foreclosed on. Florida's housing vacancy rate is still about 10 percent even when vacation homes are not included.
- The states with the lowest vacancy rates in the U.S. are California, Washington, Illinois and Virginia, each of which has about 9 percent or less of its houses vacant.