The US Census released information about the 2010 Census a few days ago. It has been interesting watching the following coverage on the news and online articles following that release.

According to the US Census Bureau, 17.45% of Florida homes are vacant.

This is the raw data for from the Census that has been interpreted to mean that 18% of homes are currently vacant and in distress. You can find the table on the US Census web-site.

1,568,778 / 8,989,580 = 17.4501%

The media has splashed this new report as these vacancies being the result of foreclosures and abandoned properties. Although a portion of the number represented here is the result of foreclosures, a large percentage of these vacancies are due to the high number of vacation properties that Florida has. Florida is known for attracting snowbirds that come here for vacationing and their second homes.

CNN and the Orlando Sentinel have reported that there is nearly a 20% vacancy rate in the state and only focus on the foreclosure aspect. In 2000, the vacancy rate was 10%, although that number is high, when comparing it to the current vacancy rate, you will see that it is not all foreclosures and distressed properties that are vacant.

The U.S. Census Bureau defines vacant as meaning "no one is living in it at the time of the interview, unless its occupants are only temporarily absent" or "entirely occupied by persons who have a usual residence elsewhere."  This means that snowbirds are not counted towards occupied homes, also if you've ever been to Florida, you will have heard about timeshares, we have a plethora of timeshares in Florida.

The vacant homes are up by 7.45% since 2000. Which if we are to assume that the same percentage of snowbirds occupy Florida homes, that means we have about 7 to 8 out of every 100 homes that are vacant as a result of foreclosures. If you are to rely on CNN for your foreclosure statistics, then that would be almost 1 in 5 homes vacant due to foreclosures. That is a drastic over exaggeration of the current Real estate market.

Contact Erna and Petur Sigurdsson, Realtors at The Viking Team, Realty at 321-263-5096 for help buying or selling a home in Longwood, Lake Mary, Altamonte Springs, Sanford, Seminole and Orange County and the surrounding areas of Central Florida. To Search For Homes For Sale in Central Florida Click Here.