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Homeowner vacancy rate increases in fourth quarter

Fourth quarter vacancy rate in 2010 was the year's highest.

Fourth quarter vacancy rate in 2010 was the year's highest.

In October, November and December of 2010, the unemployment rate hovered right around 9.4 percent. And according to the Commerce Department, so did the national vacancy rate.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported today that the national vacancy rate of rental and homeowner housing in the fourth quarter of 2010 was 9.4 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively.

The low vacancy percentage among homeowners would seem to indicate homeownership is back on the increase, but compared to 2009, it's about the same and ranks as the highest vacancy rate in 2010.

Meanwhile, the relatively high rate of vacancy among rental housing units is at its lowest rate since the second quarter of 2007.

Still, homeowner housing takes up the lion's share of housing units occupied in the country at 57.2 percent, according to the report.

This data comes after a recent report released by Trulia.com revealed it's more affordable to buy a home than to rent one in many of the U.S.' largest cities.