The data on vacancy status were obtained from Enumerator Questionnaire Item C. Vacancy status and other characteristics of vacant units were determined by census enumerators obtaining information from landlords, owners, neighbors, rental agents, and others. Vacant units are subdivided according to their housing market classification as follows:
These are vacant units offered "for rent," and vacant units offered either "for rent" or "for sale."
These are vacant units offered "for sale only," including units in cooperatives and condominium projects if the individual units are offered "for sale only." If units are offered either "for rent" or "for sale," they are included in the "for rent" classification.
Rented or sold, not occupied
If any money rent has been paid or agreed upon but the new renter has not moved in as of the date of enumeration, or if the unit has recently been sold but the new owner has not yet moved in, the vacant unit is classified as "rented or sold, not occupied."
For seasonal, recreational, or occasional use
These are vacant units used or intended for use only in certain seasons, for weekends, or other occasional use throughout the year. Seasonal units include those used for summer or winter sports or recreation, such as beach cottages and hunting cabins. Seasonal units also may include quarters for such workers as herders and loggers. Interval ownership units, sometimes called shared-ownership or time-sharing condominiums, also are included in this category.
These include vacant units intended for occupancy by migrant workers employed in farm work during the crop season. (Work in a cannery, a freezer plant, or a food-processing plant is not farm work.)
If a vacant unit does not fall into any of the categories specified above, it is classified as "other vacant." For example, this category includes units held for occupancy by a caretaker or janitor, and units held for personal reasons of the owner.
Available housing units are vacant units that are "for sale only" or "for rent."
Available housing vacancy rate
The available housing vacancy rate is the proportion of the housing inventory that is available "for sale only" or "for rent." It is computed by dividing the number of available units by the sum of occupied units and available units, and then multiplying by 100. This measure is rounded to the nearest tenth.
The homeowner vacancy rate is the proportion of the homeowner housing inventory that is vacant "for sale." It is computed by dividing the number of vacant units "for sale only" by the sum of owner-occupied units and vacant units that are "for sale only," and then multiplying by 100. This measure is rounded to the nearest tenth.
The rental vacancy rate is the proportion of the rental inventory that is vacant "for rent." It is computed by dividing the number of vacant units "for rent" by the sum of renter-occupied units and vacant units that are "for rent," and then multiplying by 100. This measure is rounded to the nearest tenth.
Data on vacancy status have been collected since 1940. Since 1990, the category, "For seasonal, recreational, or occasional use," has been used. In earlier censuses, separate categories were used to collect data on these types of vacant units. Also, in 1970 and 1980, housing characteristics generally were presented only for year-round units. Beginning in 1990 and continuing into Census 2000, housing characteristics are shown for all housing units.