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The Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) is a supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS) and provides current information on the rental and homeowner vacancy rates, and characteristics of units available for occupancy. There are about 72,000 housing units both occupied and vacant contained in the CPS sample. Approximately 10,800 are visited, but found to be vacant or otherwise not interviewed each month. These vacant units are included in the HVS.
Data from the HVS are used extensively by public and private sector organizations to evaluate the need for new housing programs and initiatives. In addition, the rental vacancy rate is a component of the index of leading economic indicators and is thereby used by the federal government and economic forecasters to gauge the current economic climate.
Rental and homeowner vacancy rates and home ownership rates are available for the United States, regions, states, and for the 61 largest Metropolitan Areas. The state and metropolitan area data are available annually, while national and regional data are available quarterly. Home ownership rates are also tabulated by age of householder and by family status for the United States and regions. In addition, estimates of the total housing inventory and percent distributions of vacant for-rent and for-sale-only units are available for the United States and regions.
For more information about the survey and its data, including historical tables back to 1956, visit the U.S. Census Bureau's Housing Vacancy and Home Ownership website.
In addition to the HVS, the Census Bureau also conducts the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS). The NYCHVS is sponsored by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The Census Bureau began the survey in 1965 and currently conducts it approximately every 3 years to comply with New York state and New York City’s rent regulation laws. The sample size for the survey is approximately 18,000 housing units representing the five boroughs of the city.
For more information about this survey, visit the New York City Housing Vacancy Survey website.