Study: Toledo is ’10th Emptiest City’Written by Caitlin McGlade | | firstname.lastname@example.org
AOL Real Estate has just ranked Toledo the 10th emptiest city in the United States.
The team of reporters and editors, which posts real estate advice and information, cited rental and homeowner property vacancy rates for the list of the country’s 10 emptiest cities. Toledo’s 11.5 percent rental vacancy rate and 3.8 percent homeowner vacancy rate landed the city behind Tampa, Fla. and Houston on the list.
Orlando, Fla. is the emptiest city in the country, according to the report, with 18.8 percent of its rental properties and 2.2 percent of its homeowner properties lying vacant. Dayton, Ohio ranked second, followed by Memphis, Tenn., Detroit, Richmond, Va., Las Vegas and Atlanta.
The City of Toledo tears down about 300 to 400 properties a year, an answer to the effects of a population that has been shrinking since the 1970s. The city enjoyed population growth from 1940 until 1970, reaching about 383,800. By 1980, the population sunk to 354,635. The trend continued; 287,208 residents were recorded in the 2010 census. Just 10 years prior, the census had recorded 313,619.
Anna Mills, the president of the Toledo Real Estate Investment Association, said the market is changing from homeowners to renters.
“I find that the people I used to be selling houses to are now renting from me,” Mills said.
This is a testament to the ailing job market, Mills said. People are more likely to rent properties to avoid being tied down to a given place, so they are free to take off to wherever the jobs are.
She mentioned the Jeep plant revival and the new Hollywood Casino Toledo as hopeful venues to spark job growth. But for the most part, she said, the jobs are not here.
“We’re in the ‘crossroads of America’, they’re saying. We’re on the water, on the lake on the river and we have all this and there’s no development,” Mills said. “There’s no amusement type things along the lake and it’s amazing how we’ve not done much with our assets.”
She also chalked up Toledo’s shrinking population to capital gain taxes — she hasn’t sold any of her rentals because of the taxes she’d have to pay — and local taxes. The November ballot will be stacked with levies.
“And people wonder why we’re losing people and then we’ve got seven levies on the property tax?”