Rental Housing Markets, the Incidence and Duration of Vacancy, and the Natural Vacancy Rate
New intermetropolitan and time-series data from the BLS are used to derive and modelthe incidence and the duration of rental vacancies and to assess the importance of thoseindicators to the price adjustment mechanism for rental housing. Research findings indicatethat the duration of vacancy varies with measures of MSA housing costs and housing stockheterogeneity; in contrast, the incidence of vacancy varies directly with measures of populationmobility, presence of public housing units, and population growth. Results support a moregeneral specification of rental price adjustment in which the rate of real rent change reflectsdeviations in observed vacancy incidence and duration from their equilibrium levels. Based onthis innovation, the research provides new estimates of equilibrium vacancy rates for a large setof metropolitan areas over the 1987-1996 period.
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