by Matt Rosenberg October 3rd, 2012
A U.S. Census spreadsheet reveals that for 2011, Washington was tied with California and Nebraska for second lowest housing gross vacancy rate among U.S. states, at 10.1 percent. Only Iowa ranked lower, at 9.8 percent. The national average was 14.2 percent. Gross vacancy rates include owner-occupied and rental units. It’s not a one-year anomaly for the Evergreen State. A U.S. Census brief shows that for 2010 Washington was tied for fifth-lowest housing gross vacancy rate at 9.2 percent. Only Connecticut, California, Iowa and Illinois were lower, and Washington was tied with Virginia. The U.S. rate was 11.4 percent in 2010, and that was almost half again as much as in 2000. We dug in a little deeper, via Washington State’s open data site, running a few embeddable variations on changes in housing vacancy rates in Washington cities of different size classes between 2000 and 2010. Information was extracted from U.S. Census reports and parked at the state’s open data site by Washington State Office of Financial Management Senior Forecast Analyst Thomas Kimpel for public use – including custom filtering and embed options built into the Socrata toolset for registered free users. We’ll start the parade of data visualizations with Kimpel’s sample rendition, in bar chart form, of the Census data showing the 20 cities of population 10,000 or more in Washington with the greatest percentage growth in housing vacancy rates from 2000 to 2010.
And now, using easy tools baked in to the original viz posted at the state’s open data site, we’ll create another one for Washington cities population of 25,000-plus, during the same 10-year span. Cities with increase rates of less than 2.5 percent aren’t included.
Here are the results for cities in the state with population of 50,000 or higher. Again, cities with 10 year increase rates of less than 2.5 percent aren’t included.