Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Study: Housing Bust Turns Parts of Sun Belt…into Rust Belt

Frequent Rust Wire readers know we’ve written before about the housing crisis creating Rust Belt-like conditions in some Sun Belt cities, such as Las Vegas (See here and here).

Now there appears to be actual data to back that up, according to a study from the Research Institute for Housing America, a division of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

The Los Angeles Times explains:

“A traditional city in decline is one that has suffered a sustained population drop, leaving behind empty houses, apartment buildings, offices and storefronts. Cleveland and Detroit, for instance, suffered from the erosion of manufacturing and the loss of residents, who left in search of jobs.

Instead of eroding a particular industry, however, the housing bust left a glut of homes because of overbuilding and the foreclosure crisis. Follain (The study’s author) argues that the future of these cities is threatened in similar ways to that of Rust Belt cities.

‘Long-vacant neighborhoods are going to develop, and we can imagine what can happen,’ he said, including potentially higher crime and lower property taxes.”

Particularly hard-hit, are inland areas of California, this article says, as well as places in Florida and Nevada.

Read the study here.

-KG

1 Comment

Filed under Economic Development, Real Estate, sprawl, The Housing Crisis

Las Vegas Keeps Building

16builder_ca0-articlelarge

Above: The party’s not over in Vegas.

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.

-KG

1 Comment

Filed under Economic Development, Featured, regionalism, sprawl, The Housing Crisis, The Media, Urban Farming

Dayton Patented. Originals Wanted.

Can “branding” a city through a snappy slogan and slick marketing campaign work?

A lot of cities apparently think so, including Dayton and Cleveland, as outlined in this USA Today story.

They point to successful and memorable slogans, like “I love New York,” and “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas.” It’s also interesting to read the comments under the story- on mentions great success North Dakota has had marketing itself as a “Wild West” destination for bicyclists.

The story doesn’t mention less-successful campaigns. (I’m thinking of the Michael Moore movie Roger & Me, when he mocks the marketing campaign Flint undertakes: “Flint: Our New Spark Will Surprise You.”) It does detail the Hastily Made Cleveland Tourism video, which Rust Wire previously highlighted.

I’m not sure how much a slogan alone can do without the jobs and attractions to back it up…but I guess a good one can’t hurt.

Have any other Rust Belt cities tried branding like this? Have they had any success?

-KG

13 Comments

Filed under Brain Drain, Economic Development, Good Ideas, regionalism

Has Migration to the ‘Sun Belt’ ended?

04summerlin_t651

This article in the Las Vegas Sun seems to think that city’s era of unbridled growth has definitely ended.

The article cites U.S. Census Bureau data showing:

-its slowest rate of population growth since 1967,

-for the first time in a long time, the state experience out-migration (more people left the state than came there).

“The new numbers contrast strikingly with the rest of this decade when an average of 45,000 people moved here every year from other states,” according to the story. “Analysts both here and nationally cited the weak economy of Nevada and other Sun Belt states, including Florida and Arizona, as the primary cause of the sudden halt in America’s 60-year move to the South and West.”

The story doesn’t really address if this growth will pick up again after the current recession ends. I’m not sure that the Sun Belt’s growth is over for good. What do you think?

-KG

11 Comments

Filed under Economic Development, Featured, Real Estate, regionalism

What Las Vegas Can Learn From the Rust Belt

What can Las Vegas learn from the Rust Belt? Quite a bit, according to this article in the Las Vegas Sun.

Not to toot our own horn, but this story references Rust Wire, and our own Angie Schmitt!

I thought this story was well-written, and made an interesting comparison: though many wouldn’t think of it this way, Las Vegas and Detroit are both one-industry towns – Vegas’ industry of course, being tourism.

The author definitely did his homework- and talked to a number of knowledgeable folks in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Boston and elsewhere.

I don’t really consider Boston to be in the Rust Belt, but still an interesting read.

-KG

1 Comment

Filed under Economic Development, Good Ideas, regionalism, Rust Belt Blogs, The Housing Crisis, The Media, U.S. Auto Industry

Rust Belt Cities Recovering from Recession; Sun Belt Cities Still Struggling

CNN is reporting that many cities that were hard hit by the recession early on are starting to recover, while economic conditions continue to decline Sun Belt cities in Florida, California, Nevada and Arizona.

RealtyTrac and The Federal Reserve Bank are reporting that the recession appears to be ending in the Northeast and Midwest but is continuing to ravage the Southwest.

foreclosure

All this is from the article:

Many cities with populations larger than one million experienced rapid increases in foreclosure during the past six months. Seattle, for example, wasn’t the worst hit city, but it experienced the biggest increase in the rate of filings. While a relatively small 1 in 107 homes received notices, that is a 72% jump compared with the same period a year ago. In second place was Minneapolis, where the filing rate grew by 58.6% to 1 in 90 homes; Phoenix spiked 51.7% to 1 in 22.

But some big cities showed substantial improvement. Filings in Greater New York fell 23.5% (1 in 211), and tumbled 40.7% in Boston (1 in 144) and 31.3% in Houston (1 in 153)

Taking the title of foreclosure capital is Las Vegas, which surpassed Stockton, Calif., for the honors. Stockton, which is 80 miles east of San Francisco, wore the crown for all of 2008.

Vegas, with a whopping 1 in 13 properties receiving a foreclosure filing during the first six months of 2009, is six times worse than the national average of 1 in 84. The number grew 56% since the first half of 2008.

The Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, Fla., area was second with 1 in 14 homes. California posted six cities in the top 10 list, with Merced coming in third at 1 in 15 homes being in trouble.

The Rust Belt, however, may have put the worst of its foreclosure problems behind it. Now even economically devastated Detroit recorded only 1 in 54 properties receiving filings. That’s a 16% decline over the first half of 2008.

Cleveland, one of the first cities to get whacked, has also improved and is now ranked only 56th among all U.S. metro areas. The city was once home to the nation’s hardest hit neighborhood — Slavic Village — but filings are now just 1 for every 73 homes, a 30% decline.

3 Comments

Filed under Headline, The Housing Crisis