Las Vegas No. 2 on list of country’s ‘emptiest’ cities

Housing prices have tumbled across the Las Vegas Valley during the recession as foreclosures have spiked.

The good news is Las Vegas isn't No. 1 on another list of floundering real estate markets. The bad news is it ranked second.

With a home vacancy rate of 5.5 percent and an apartment vacancy rate of 13.5 percent, Las Vegas has landed in the No. 2 spot on Forbes' recently released list of "America's emptiest cities."

Las Vegas trails Orlando, which led the pack with a 4.3 percent home vacancy rate and a 23.6 percent apartment vacancy rate, according to Forbes' rankings.

Forbes compiled its list by ranking cities based on single-family and rental vacancy rates over the four quarters in 2010, and the average of those two rates determined the top 10.

Last year, 2.7 percent marked the national average for single-family vacancy rates with rentals at 9.4 percent, according to Forbes.

Forbes noted that while Las Vegas' home vacancy rate of 5.5 percent is among the highest in the nation, it's down from 6.1 percent in the second quarter of 2009.

The following cities, in order, rounded out the top 10 emptiest cities in the nation: Memphis, Tenn.; Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; Dayton, Ohio; Phoenix; Houston; Jacksonville, Fla.; Tampa-St.Petersburg, Fla.; and Detroit.

Dayton, Ohio, had the highest apartment vacancy rate at 26.4 percent, while Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif., had the highest home vacancy rate at 6.4 percent.