Some urban thinkers thought one silver lining of the economic crisis could be a slowdown in unsustainable sprawl, particularly in overbuilt areas of the southwest, like Las Vegas.
But that appears not to be the case at all, according to this New York Times story.
Despite home prices having declined 60 percent in four years, and despite the fact that there are nearly 10,000 empty homes with 5,600 more expected on the market soon, the Times reports, “builders here are putting up 1,100 homes, and they are frantically buying lots for even more.”
The story goes on say, “Some of the boom-era homes, meanwhile, are in developments that feel like ghost towns. And many Americans will always believe the latest model of something is their only option, an attitude builders are doing their utmost to reinforce…’We’re building them because we’re selling them,” a marketing executive with one builder told the paper. ‘Our customers wouldn’t care if there were 50 homes in an established neighborhood of 1980 or 1990 vintage, all foreclosed, empty and for sale at $10,000 less. They want new. And what are we going to do, let someone else build it?’ ”
How much longer can this go on?
Meanwhile, from last week’s Wall Street Journal, Detroit is preparing to tear down 10,000 homes, including Mitt Romney’s childhood home.