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U.S. Home Vacancies Rise to Record on Foreclosures

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A record 18.6 million U.S. homes stood empty in the first quarter as lenders took possession of a growing number of properties in foreclosure.
The figure is 5.7 percent higher than a year ago, when 17.6 million properties were vacant, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The vacancy rate, the share of homes empty and for sale, rose to 2.9 percent, the highest since the bureau started keeping count in 1956.

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