Sunday, April 03, 2011

Empty houses taking toll on Valley

On a typical block in metro Phoenix, there's at least one empty home, often several. Overbuilding during the housing boom, record foreclosures during the subsequent crash and a significant drop in population growth have led to more than 100,000 vacant homes across the region, five times what was once considered normal. With an average of three people per residence, the swath of vacant homes is equivalent to a city bigger than Chandler sitting empty.
This is deep in the heart of Privatopia.  These vacant homes demonstrate how excess leverage and irrational exuberance can decimate an entire industry, spurring overbuilding and creating tons of excess inventory by packing what would normally be 15 years of growth into five.  It's no wonder new home starts are at their lowest levels since the late 1940s.

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