National vacancy rates in the first quarter 2012 were 8.8 percent for rental housing and 2.2 percent for homeowner housing, according to the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau.

The rental vacancy rate of 8.8 percent was 0.9 percentage points lower than the rate recorded in the first quarter 2011 and 0.6 percentage points lower than last quarter. The homeowner vacancy rate of 2.2 percent was 0.4 percentage points lower than the first quarter 2011 rate and 0.1 percentage point lower than the rate last quarter (2.3 percent).

The homeownership rate of 65.4 percent was 1 percentage points lower than the first quarter 2011 rate (66.4 percent) and 0.6 percentage points lower than the rate last quarter (66.0 percent).