As the Atlantic City region continues to recover from a series of economic hurdles, a new report finds our area ranks among the top five in the nation for the number of vacant homes, putting the World's Playground in the same company as other notoriously struggling cities.

A report released Thursday from RealtyTrac used publicly recorded real estate data, such as foreclosure status, zombie foreclosures, owner-occupancy status, and equity, matched against data from the US Postal Service to rank areas that have struggling housing markets.

House in Foreclosure - Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In many areas of the nation, the price of houses and rent is on the rise. From a press release, Daren Blomquist, VP at RealtyTrac, says, "With several notable exceptions, the challenge facing most U.S. real estate markets is not too many vacant homes but too few. The razor-thin vacancy rates in many markets are placing upward pressure on home prices and rents."

Among 147 metro areas with at least 100,000 residential properties, Flint, Michigan, had the highest share of vacant properties at 7.5 percent. Detroit ranked second at 5.3 percent; Youngstown, OH, was third at 4.4 percent; the Beaumont, TX, area was next at 3.8 percent; Atlantic City ranked fifth with 3.7 percent. Some major cities, such as Indianapolis, Miami, Tampa, St. Louis, and Cleveland all had lower vacancy rates than Atlantic City.

Specifically looking at the Atlantic City area (which stretches out to Hammonton), out of roughly 112,000 residential properties here, almost 4,200 are vacant according to a story at NJ.com. 17 percent of vacant properties here are under-water with home loans higher than the market price of the house.