Buried in one of those “Top US cities for fill-in-the-blank” articles posted on Yahoo! News, was Richmond’s place as number one on the list of highest rental vacancy rates in the country. This article is about “America’s emptiest cities,” and the mention of Richmond is excerpted below:

Still, empty neighborhoods are becoming an increasingly daunting problem across the country. The national rental vacancy rate now stands at 10.1%, up from 9.6% a year ago; homeowner vacancy has edged up from 2.8% to 2.9%. Richmond, Va.’s rental vacancy rate of 23.7% is the worst in America, while Orlando’s 7.4% rate is lousiest on the homeowner side. Detroit and Las Vegas are among the worst offenders by both measures–the Motor City sports vacancy rates of 19.9% for rentals and 4% for homes; Sin City has rates of 16% and 4.7%, respectively. [emphasis added]

Nevertheless, our homeowner vacany rates must be incredibly low because we don’t make it on the top 15 list overall.

Anyone know why our rental vacancies are so high?

**Update- 2/17  12:30 pm.  Make sure you read the comments- the story is further explained by readers more knowledgable than I am.