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An Investigation of the residential vacancy patterns in an urban housing market: the case of Gemlik

Kıvrak, Hatice Kübra
The charm of the construction sector and the unique characteristics of the housing have led to increase in housing production in Turkey. Thus, housing oversupply has occurred in most of the urban areas, and this situation has led to the formation of vacant housing stock which creates problem in different parts of the settlements. In this context, housing stock and housing vacancy are significant issues that need to be monitored regularly in order to take necessary precautions related with planning. This study, considering high vacancies in Turkey, argues that neither vacancy rate nor the reason of vacancy is uniform across a housing market, rather they vary with respect to neighborhood characteristics. In this context, residential vacancy rates and their possible reasons are examined in the case of Gemlik. Findings of the study reveal that the current physical and social characteristics of the neighborhood are effective in differentiating the residential vacancy. The vacancy pattern differs with respect to age of the existing dwellings, land use, the share of new construction, construction quality, and structural features of existing houses, house prices, social profile in the neighborhood and purpose of use. Seven residential vacancy patterns were identified based on 13 neighborhoods in Gemlik. Each of these patterns have different implications for urban life, thus they require different types of intervention. At this point, locality of plans gains importance because each pattern can be managed by intervening in the existing or potential housing stock in that neighborhood. Therefore, different policy recommendations for each pattern are indicated.