Wednesday, February 18, 2009

America's Emptiest Cities

Forbes Magazine recently just listed Las Vegas as America's emptiest cities based on housing and rental vacancies. To see the entire list click here. Las Vegas, which was one of America's fastest growing cities, now has more vacancies then to Detroit, whose struggles have been well chronicled. Even though this is a dubious distinction for Sin City, one can't find it surprising given the current economic and housing crisis happening across the country. Still it is pretty shocking to see a place with unprecedented growth begin to fall on hard times even if it's economy was based on luxury and excess.

Also not surprising was the fact that Atlanta came in third place. There is only so much money you can charge for rent and housing for a low density sprawled out city. Although overall, housing prices are cheaper in Atlanta compared to other major cities however the Atlanta area still saw a spike in Housing prices within the last 5 years.

A quote from the article:

"As real estate prices skyrocketed during the boom, consumers took out massive loans to buy homes, assuming values would continue to rise. Instead they took a nosedive, especially in places like Las Vegas, Florida and Phoenix, where the housing boom had created excess inventory and so-called "bad loans" were rampant. Many homeowners suddenly found themselves with properties worth far less than the mortgages they'd taken out. In the worst cases, banks foreclosed, leaving people without homes--and with more debt than they'd had to begin with."

How ironic that Las Vegas and Detroit, two cities that could not be any more different, may share the same fate in the end by being single industry cities.

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