Exchange traded funds (ETFs) seemed to sigh "Ho-hum" at the news that the percentage of vacant homes in the United States has reached a record high.

The Census Bureau says that 2.9% of U.S. homes (not including rental properties) were vacant in the first quarter, reports Alan Zibel for the Associated Press. In the fourth quarter of 2007, the percentage stood at 2.8%.

Real estate and homebuilder-related ETFs mostly shrugged off the numbers and held steady in midday trading. Some analysts are predicting quiet markets ahead of the Federal Reserve’s meetings this week, during which a quarter-point rate cut is anticipated.

  • SPDR S&P Homebuilders (XHB), up 18.1% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Home Construction (ITB), up 17.6% year-to-date
  • iShares Dow Jones US Real Estate (IYR), up 7.7% year-to-date

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