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Residential real estate vacancy rates surge

South Carolina has seen its fair share of woes as a result of the real estate crash of late. Not only has the state seen an increase in foreclosures, but it has also seen particular regions hit harder than others. In terms of vacant residential real estate and commercial combined, the area around Charlotte, North Carolina, which includes South Carolina, appears to be one of the hardest hit.

Over the last decade, the number of vacant houses in and around the Charlotte area has nearly doubled. The vacancy rate for residential real estate surged 87 percent in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, alone between 2000 and 2010. This is according to an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. Additionally, neighboring counties in the metro area are also suffering some steep spikes.

The increase illustrates just how severely the local housing market was slammed and it suggests that the region may be in for a long recovery. It is known that empty houses depress the housing market by pushing down home sales prices. When vacant, homes can become eyesores and attract vandalism and vagrants.

Still, there is a silver lining in this news for those who are looking to buy homes. With lower prices and huge supply, residential real estate buyers in South Carolina now have a lot to choose from if they are in the process of buying. Purchases of bank-owned properties is often an excellent way to make an investment at bargain prices. Those looking to invest in real estate may find it beneficial to work with an experienced attorney well-versed in real estate law.

Source: Charlotte Observer, "Charlotte area housing vacancies spike in downturn," Kerry Singe and Gavin Off, Oct. 30, 2011

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