California has least amount of vacant housing in US, study shows

California just ranked dead last on a list grading states in the U.S. with the most vacant housing.

That's according to a study by real estate website LAHomes, which looked at data from the U.S. Census Bureau Population Survey.

California, the most populated U.S. state, comes in last place out of all states. It has the lowest percentage of vacant housing, with 8.5% on average. Vacancies were lowest in 2020, with just a 7% vacancy rate, and highest in 2011, with a vacancy rate of 10.1%.


On the other end of the spectrum, it was Maine that ranked first in the U.S. with the most vacant housing, with 23.9% on average between 2011 and 2021. 2013 was the year in that period where vacancies were highest with 26.6%, and they were lowest in 2020 with 22.5%.

Here are the top 10 states with the lowest percentage of vacant housing units:

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Iowa
  4. Connecticut, Ohio (tied)
  5. Nebraska
  6. Oregon
  7. Illinois
  8. Colorado
  9. Minnesota
  10. Utah

"While it is a pattern in most states that vacancy rates have been lower in recent years, not all states have any strong trends to analyze in the 2010s, with vacancy rates fluctuating all throughout this 10-year period," said a spokesperson for LAHomes. "There are plenty of reasons for fluctuating vacancy rates, with things like changing house prices, the relocation of businesses, and the cost of upkeeping property all affecting the demand for housing in certain states."

Prospective homebuyers across the U.S. are facing a chronic shortage of available houses, but the scarcity is worse in some parts of the country, according to new Bank of America research. 

The analysis found four cities are at the epicenter of the crisis, with three located in Texas — San Antonio, Dallas and Houston. Finishing off the list is Orlando, Florida.

If you're interested in buying a home in California, you'd better have a lot of money saved up or perhaps look into purchasing a home in a more affordable state like Texas or Florida.

That's because fewer than 1 in 5 homebuyers in California - around 16% - can afford to buy a median-priced existing single-family home in the Golden State, according to new data released by the California Association of Realtors.

The study found a median-priced home in California was estimated at $830,620.