Arizona is home to the county with more empty houses than any other metropolitan area in America.
The state’s population boomed alongside property prices in the decade leading up to the sub-prime crash, but values turned just as fast—Arizona home prices have tumbled close to 60% since 2006. Individual properties were foreclosed on and left empty. Plots were turned to farmland as developers fled.
While home prices in the state have shown positive signs recently, posting a small rise late last year, it will take a lot more to bring back the builders that left entire planned communities to rot in the sun.
PHOENIX: Distressed homes have made up about 80% of sales in and around the city, where land prices have fallen from roughly $90 per square foot to $9.
LAVEEN FARMS: Empty houses surround barren plots of land in this new suburb, where utility cables can be seen poking up from the half-developed desert.
PIMA COUNTY: Entire neighborhoods have failed here, leaving dead-end streets and empty playgrounds in planned communities that were never completed.
MARICOPA CITY: Hundreds of new housing permits were issued here every month during the boom, but the town was only half built by the time the crisis hit.
TUSCON: Swathes of housing developments are empty, many boarded up, while others languish with huge vacancy rates.
MARANA: The township is full of unfinished projects and houses in the middle of nowhere, after developments failed to materialise.
BULLHEAD CITY: Developers have abandoned hundreds of half-built homes, which have been left to decay.
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