Mail carriers routinely collect data on address no longer receiving mail due to vacancy. This vacancy data is reported quarterly at census tract geographies in the United States for residential, commercial, and industrial properties along with counts of total mailing addresses. Data released through DASH has been aggregated to Allegheny County Municipalities and City Wards.
number of residential buildings
number of residential vacant buildings
% of vacant properties
Residential vacancies can occur for a number of reasons, including physical abandonment, temporary seasonal vacancies (common among vacation properties), normal turnover between occupants, and construction which makes properties temporarily uninhabitable.
Mail carriers distinguish between properties that do not appear ready for occupancy from those that are. Abandonment and construction are two conditions that are often the cause of properties being coded as uninhabitable.
Areas with a high level of housing unit growth and a high level of vacancy may be experiencing new construction.
Areas with flat or declining numbers of addresses and a high level of vacancy may be experiencing abandonment.
Data collection practices have changed over time, with a major change having been implemented in 2010. Please use caution when analyzing this data over time.