Where to live? Maybe Lancaster … if I can find something

By - Last modified: December 5, 2012 at 9:29 AM

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Jason Scott
Jason Scott

There are two ways you can take the news about Lancaster County's extremely low housing vacancy rate.

For one, the fact that 94.38 percent of all houses in Lancaster were occupied in 2011 — the second-highest in the nation, according to a recent analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data — might have you saying, "Wow, I want to live there. There must be a lot going on. I want to be a part of that."

That's a 5.62 percent vacancy rate. Not too shabby.

The top spot went to San Jose, Calif., at 4.32 percent.

You also might look at the data of 109 metropolitan areas and say, "I think I'll move to Cape Coral/Fort Myers, Fla., where the vacancy rate is almost 36 percent. At least I'll have my pick of properties."

That area of Florida had the highest vacancy rate in the nation.

In fact, if you're in search of a place to go where vacancy is more than 20 percent, Florida is your best bet.

Six of the eight metro areas with rates exceeding 20 percent were in the Sunshine State last year, according to the analysis, which looked at metros with more than 200,000 housing units.

Pennsylvania metro areas, in general, did pretty well in maintaining permanent occupants.

The Harrisburg-Carlisle area was 31st at 9.2 percent. The Allentown/Bethlehem/Easton region was 33rd at 9.22 percent.

What would you choose? The crowd scene or the echoes of your own voice?

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@centralpennbusiness.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal.

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