by Dan Rafter
A Midwestern city topped a list that no metropolitan area wants to head: RealtyTrac’s ranking of the most vacant cities in the United States.
In fact, three Midwest cities led the list that highlights those metropolitan areas saddled with the highest percentages of vacant homes: Flint, Michigan; Detroit; and Youngstown, Ohio. Rounding out the top five are Beaumont, Texas, and Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Overall, more than 1.3 million of the nearly 85 million homes in the United States were vacant as February began. That’s 1.6 percent of the country’s housing supply. There is some good news in these numbers: This vacancy rate is down 9 percent from September of 2015, according to RealtyTrac.
In Flint, though, 7.5 percent of the homes — or 11,605 — are vacant. Detroit is right behind, with 5.3 percent — or 81,190 — of its homes standing vacant as of February.
Flint, of course, has made headlines lately for the devastating problems with the city’s water supply. But Flint’s problems are far from recent; it takes many years of suffering for such a large percentage of a city’s homes to stand vacant.
The infographic below, from RealtyTrac, provides a stark reminder that even though the national economy is on the mend, many cities across the country continue to struggle.