August 22, 2007

The Economist Magazine launches a nuclear attack on Phoenix Arizona: "Phoenix - Into the Ashes"

Wow.

In the end, HP'ers, what happened to Phoenix these past six years is truly sad. They had a great canvas to work with, and it could have become a great American city. But the REIC, a corrupted REIC-led government, and its clueless undereducated population simply f*cked it up. I absolutely loved Phoenix in the mid-90s, but it's no longer that town. It changed for the worse - much much worse.

Phoenix, thanks to the housing bubble, quickly became a crime-ridden, fake-economy, uneducated, soulless, cheap, plastic, poser-filled, realtor-infested, illegal-immigration-run-amok hellhole. A perfect example of what happens when the REIC gets hold of a major metropolitan area and uses it for their short-term gain. And a perfect example of horrific urban planning, or lack thereof.

Phoenix may very well become the new Detroit of the Southwest. A town based on a single industry (real estate - 40% of the Phoenix economy) while run by a corrupted government, that slipped into the abyss when the industry blew up.

No matter what clueless Phoenix realtors on commission try to tell you, no one American city will be destroyed by the Housing Crash more than Phoenix, Arizona (and it's urban cancer of suburbs). New Orleans had a hurricane. Phoenix had mortgage brokers and a massive housing bubble and crash. Foreclosures will be everywhere, and the crash in home prices will shock and awe.

Into the ashes - PHOENIX

From The Economist print edition

Phoenix was once hailed as a model city. It grew fast. Its streets were new and shiny, and housing was cheap. Beginning in 1950, the National Civic League voted Phoenix an “All-American City” four times. In 1993 an international competition rated Phoenix, along with Christchurch, New Zealand, the world's best-governed city. Forbes recently ranked it as America's second-best job market, thanks to its buoyant property market and rapid urban growth. In the past five years metropolitan Phoenix's population has grown by almost a fifth, to over 4m.

But in the past few years the awards have mostly dried up and things have started to go wrong. Burglary, theft and car crime are among the highest in the country. Newcomers who left Los Angeles to avoid smog and commuter traffic find that both are little better in Phoenix, and the area scores embarrassingly low in national education ratings. In October the Morgan Quitno Press, a research group, credited Arizona with the worst public education in the country, thanks to overcrowded classrooms, poor test scores and low salaries for teachers.

Phoenix's Native-American art shops and taco restaurants offer pockets of variety, but generic food chains such as International House of Pancakes and Pizza Hut still dominate. The property market is white-dominated too, Ms Koptiuch says, with its suburbs policed by homeowners' associations which insist on a certain uniformity of style.



55 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have read and enjoyed your blog, but living in the town of Gilbert, makes clear your bias and your ignorance. Wait!! Was Phoenix an economy that went to far overboard on housing, yes I would agree with that. Homes are readily for sale. Yes I read the Economist and saw the article. But to call this a crime-ridden hellhole, you are blind as a bat. Hot in the summer? You bet. Come out for spring training baseball and see what your missing. You may have visited, but this is a place with honest hard-working people and crime in this neighborhood is very low. I am both disgusted and appaled by your comments of such rank misunderstanding of our city. Home prices got out of hand and people were stupid, yes the developers overbuilt, but as someone who did not leverage themself to the hilt, the opportunity is enticing of what I can pick up. This city went through the 89-90 collapse with the RTC, remember that? Will it bounce back tomorrow? No. But this city will come back. Don't let you ignorance be your guide.

Anonymous said...

This is an armpit of a town for sure.

That's why I'm leaving Mesa ASAP...

Lots of anger in this city. Lots of rude people, and a lot of ignorance and stupidity.

Some great people as well, but not nearly enough. I feel sorry for the good ones who are stuck here because of jobs, family, whatever...

Batman said...

I have to spend a week in the shithole beginning Friday. Hope I don't get mugged by a desperate forclosed former homeowner trying to get enough cash together to get a payment or some Ramen. Sounds terrible...

Anonymous said...

But in the past few years the awards have mostly dried up and things have started to go wrong. Burglary, theft and car crime are among the highest in the country. Newcomers who left Los Angeles to avoid smog and commuter traffic find that both are little better in Phoenix, and the area scores embarrassingly low in national education ratings. In October the Morgan Quitno Press, a research group, credited Arizona with the worst public education in the country, thanks to overcrowded classrooms, poor test scores and low salaries for teachers.

No mention of illegals anywhere of course. No shit test scores will be low if 1/4 of the school disctrict's population speaks no English.

But no, the problem is we don't pay teachers enough. Tha is always the solution with socialists, spend more money on the problem.

Get rid of illegals and you'll see crim plummet and test scores jump.

Anonymous said...

So you got a big city in the middle of the desert, there is no water nor is it possible to grow food, the infrastructure is completely dependent on cars. And just to show you what a big joke this town really is, the main industry is people selling houses to each other.

I doubt the city will exist 20 years from now. Easy come, easy go.

Anonymous said...

I think the Economist is probably the most reliable, trustworthy magazine in the world. They've been all over the housing stories way before the rest of the MSM.

They are objective about the bush administration... its excellent journalism.

I may get myself a subscription

Anonymous said...

Prices in the Phoenix metro area including Gilbert will drop dramatically.People here are absolutely stupid to think homes in the middle of the desert in a sprawling mess warrants the ridiculous prices. If you are from out of state do not buy here for a while.Areas such as Queen Creek and Maricopa are seeing huge price drops already this will soon spread to all areas of the valley.

Anonymous said...

"The property market is white-dominated too, Ms Koptiuch says, with its suburbs policed by homeowners' associations which insist on a certain uniformity of style."
Would you like Section 8 locust (move in destroy then move on) living next to you ?

Anonymous said...

"I think the Economist is probably the most reliable, trustworthy magazine in the world. They've been all over the housing stories way before the rest of the MSM."

I USED to think that before I read that article. What a load of crap that piece was.

As the other anon said, how about investigating how many illegals have invaded Phoenix, might that have a little something to do with it?

No wonder the locals are rude- weather sucks, schools suck, home prices will be down 50% before all is said and done- "Hey Marge, why the #$&$& do we live in this s%$#hole!?"

foreclose_me said...

The property market is white-dominated too, Ms Koptiuch says,

How can that be, if the place is an illegal immigrant hell-hole? Maybe Ms Koptiuch just doesn't like Whites and meant to say that there are too many militant home owner associations. In so far as home owner associations are just trying to keep out the riff-raff (same goes for age restricted), the solution is to re-legalize discrimination and segregation. It happens anyway.

rcochran said...

So you got a big city in the middle of the desert, there is no water nor is it possible to grow food, the infrastructure is completely dependent on cars. And just to show you what a big joke this town really is, the main industry is people selling houses to each other.

I doubt the city will exist 20 years from now. Easy come, easy go.


_______

To paraphrase: "I know absolutely zero about Phoenix and I'm just going to mindlessly parrot Keith."

rcochran said...

I feel sorry for the good ones who are stuck here because of jobs, family, whatever...

______

It's a place for rugged people. If you aren't one of us, good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Just looking at that nasty sprawl picture makes me want to vomit

Anonymous said...

http://nevercoldcall.typepad.com/scottsdale_sucks/

http://www.dirtyscottsdale.com/

Anonymous said...

There are still people who want to move to Phoenix, and here's a craigslist ad of someone who WANTS to buy a house there!!

I think you'll find it interesting!

http://phoenix.craigslist.org/rew/402274121.html

Enjoy.

Marinite said...

Phoenix sounds a lot like Irvine, except more of it.

vinegaroon said...

I spent two months in Phoenix in the early '80s. Not a bad place then, the air was clean, people were friendly, and other than the heat it was OK.

I had a chance to repeat my visit for a month in 2001. The air was brown, the sprawl was unbeliveable with Phoenix and Tucson almost one solid stretch of suburbia and asphalt. Hellhole is the word I'd use to describe the mess I saw then, and I can only imagine how bad it is now, six years later.

Anonymous said...

All the Phoenix hater who keep threatening to leave:

WTF are you still here? I read over and over how so many of will leave soon. Well fuck, go already. Please.

Veronica Lodge said...

RE: Into The Ashes - PHOENIX

And it looks like Into The Ashes COUNTRYWIDE.

But wait! There's MORE.

You can bet your toxic mortgage that Countrywide was a major player in the Phoenix housing crash.

V.L.

Anonymous said...

I think somebody had their daughter show up on dirtyscottsdale.com!!!

I am one of the consultants that works on comercial/industrial developments/redevelopments/infill.
Phoenix is the best city in the valley for bureauocrats that are not hostile to development, and are willing to work with you to get through the city process. I worked in central Ohio during a residential boom, and no commercial/industrial development was even allowed in the boom areas. All the municipalities wanted was high end housing, but they had no tax base. In comparison, Phoenix is much more welcoming to a diversity of development types

An as far as diversity of people go, my neighbor hood was selling houses at $130,000 in 2001. And of the 12 houses we have: a divorced christian man, an intact mormon family, an intact white christian family, a jewish/catholic married couple, a white christian family, an older white christian married couple, an intact white christian family, a handicapped man/wife, a homosexual male couple, a mexican family, a divorced jew now born again christian dope smoking old hippie, and airforce pilot and family. Now, is that diverse enough? Oh yeah, all of the blacks and asians live a couple of blocks away in the nicer neighborhood and all drive nicer cars.
We moved from central Ohio, no diversity whatsoever, no kids playing outside, and no one knew or spoke to their neighbors.
I will take my flag waving, gun toting, cigarette smoking, whiskey drinking, pickup truck with balls-hanging-from-trailer-hitch driving, non-college educated, non-yankee jerkoff, salt-of-the earth red-neck fellow Arizonans over all of the douche-bag posers any day. That's why we moved here. If you don't like that, I say get out of my state. We're better off without you.
And yes, my work is directly tied to development, but I saw no big bump whatsoever from this boom because I deal with only with conservative, cold eyed types for clients. I like it slow and steady. I have work coming in like crazy right now, so no problems here.

FORECLOSUREBOY said...

homes will be 100k in 2 years all over phoenix. nice newer homes.

there is no reason for it to be more expensive than TX or OK other than ponzi prices. actually it should be cheaper since its horrifyingly hot.

Anonymous said...

it is a place for rugged people, and retirees, who are not rugged, and both get burned alive

Anonymous said...

Another factor that was not mentioned in the article also relates to the sprawl.

Like LA, commute distances are large in the Phoenix area. When gas prices go to $4 and $5, this will have a MAJOR impact on quality of life here - more so than other urban areas.

AmazingRuss said...

I lived in Phoenix for about a year in the late 80's...my impressions were:

Rocks and cactus instead of grass and trees. Bleh.

Violently hot in the summer.

Good mountain biking in the big park in the middle of town.

Horrible traffic due to poor planning.

Old people in fogey boats during the winter make it very dangerous to be on foot or on a bike. Eldorados with a thatch of white hair peeking over the steering wheel.

Some really nice apartment complexes...at least then.

Crime is bad if you have anything worth stealing. I was so poor that it didn't affect me.

Police helicopters hovering over your neighborhood at all hours of the night, shining spotlights in your windows.

I've been reading about their complete whackjob of a sherrif for years. He probably got in in response to the crime, but it doesn't sound like he fixed it. I'd be as afraid of that guy as the criminals if I lived there. Theres an article somewhere about how his keystone cops managed to burn down a rental house with teargas canisters during a raid...and smash up the neighbors car with this ridiculous APC thing they have.

The sky is YELLOW. Stone, righteous YELLOW. Made me want to puke.

vegas crash watcher said...

The Economist is written by highly-educated Brits right out of university who have no experience in the world and no appreciation for individualism. I use to read it, but it is not worth my time anymore. There are better sources on the net.

re: Phoenix
Arizonians like big government and taxation so I'll enjoy watching that whole state become a wasteland.

you suck said...

There are some ignorant folks on this blog for sure.There are some nice areas of the valley w/ low crime and good jobs.Home prices did get out of hand but are in the process of correcting. Housing is still affordable to people who want to own a house. I have seen home from the 130's now. Where in the hell in california can you get a new house for that?It is all what you make out of it I guess.You think los angeles is great? What a shithole that place is.Sacramento is way overpriced and full of gangbangers.

Anonymous said...

The first guy commenting agrees with everything you said keith, but then he calls you ignorant. WTF?

Anonymous said...

I had to go to Phoenix many times in the late 80s. It was a cultureless, polluted, boiling craphole then. Is that what they give out awards for?

Anonymous said...

Will Congress make Feds buy subprime debt to back stupid housing prices?

http://tinyurl.com/2ytuz6

How much is 100b to the total size of the problem? 10%? 5%

Why should tax paying renters be forced to take the risk of backing subprime mortgages?

So they can be forced to pay inflated prices later when they eventually do buy real estate?

Anonymous said...

"Prices are correcting "and "Housing is still affordable to people who want to own a house".Sorry but those comments are insane.This is just the beginning of a huge meltdown in housing prices in Arizona.The free fall has barely started once the construction jobs start disappearing the tightening of credit takes hold there will be blood in the streets.

BitterRenter said...

Still won't admit, will you?

Phoenix is a s-hole because the politics of that state and city are conservative and have been for years. Nevermind that they manage to elect a few democrats, they have NEVER had liberal leadership or direction.

Contrast that with the great cities like Portland, Seattle or Chicago, cities where liberals have made a great impact.

Face it. Any place that adopts conservatism and it's butt-ugly offspring, unregulated capitalism, ends up being disgusting. Just like conservatism itself.

P.S. Libertarians would have been even worse.

BitterRenter said...

What The Economist describes is the typical, bland, uptight, ignorant, republican-voting, conservative cesspool.

Why can't you people see that?

Anonymous said...

Had dirtyscottdale been around 5 years ago I would have made it in there I'm sure lol. Made an idiot of myself drunk off my ass more times than I care to admit.

Rich hot slutty women in nightclubs. My oh my the horror of it all. Gee wiz Scottsdale needs to be razed because of it. And the weather is awful for 2 moths. Excluding July and Aug Phoenix has the best weather in the US.

These anti-Phoenix tirades are nothing more than jealousy from the overweight bald losers here who haven't touched a woman in 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, everyone here is named "anonymous", so I will be, too.

I have never been to feenix. Don't know what it is like. I only wonder what people have planned for their future when they live there. Why did they leave the towns they grew up in, and why don't they go back and fix them? Where is the sense of purpose to a community? Apparently, the bureaucrats' purpose is to get tax money from developers. We have the same problem everywhere, not just in Phoenix, which just happened to fly and die faster because of cheap oil to build houses and roads to build more houses. To a developer, every acre of empty land looks like a house or a strip mall.
What are people FOR? Why do they need so much land and water and energy if they are only going to live to burn up water and land and energy? What is the point?

keith said...

On the Phoenix weather - great from October through April. Best in the US

After that, you're on your own...

Phoenix had/has a lot going for it. But it's going south quickly, thank you mortgage brokers and realtors who infested the town, gamed the system, and now an epic crash unfolds

Too bad they can't raze the homes and put the desert back where it belongs

Anonymous said...

Driving into Phoenix on I-17, you can see from miles away that the air is a yellow/green. Of course, once you're inside it, you lose that frame of reference and it's not so easy to tell (except by breathing) Phoenix is the definition of sprawl. And Sheriff Joe is a Nazi. If you Phoenicians are into that, good for you. To each his own.

Anonymous said...

BitterRenter said...
Still won't admit, will you?

Phoenix is a s-hole because the politics of that state and city are conservative and have been for years. Nevermind that they manage to elect a few democrats, they have NEVER had liberal leadership or direction.

Contrast that with the great cities like Portland, Seattle or Chicago, cities where liberals have made a great impact.



========================

WOW.Dude you need to get off the meds ASAP. Chicago is the most corrupt city out there, second maybe to new orleans, run 100% by liberal democrats.

How about San Fran? Bums everywhere, garbage everywhere.

You sir truly are an idiot.

Anonymous said...

>Arizonians like big government and taxation so I'll enjoy watching that whole state become a wasteland.

Are you f'ing high? Check out the local property taxes versus states in the midwest or back east. Hell, check out the income tax rates compared to the rest of the country (not counting the states with no income tax - which compensate with property taxes through the roof.)

Arizona's notoriously anti-tax, anti-government.

Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Damn thats a lot of houses sitting around with nobody to buy

keith said...

I'll vouch - AZ is low taxes and limited government

But that's why their educations system is the worst in the US

Get what you pay for (or don't)

Anonymous said...

Hot girls, no class

Anonymous said...

"I'll vouch - AZ is low taxes and limited government
But that's why their educations system is the worst in the US
Get what you pay for (or don't)"
--------------------------------=
Keith,

Do you know how much New York City spends per student, and its drop-out rate?

Government is not the answer, my friend, its the home. Education needs to be a priority there, and the schools will get the pressure from the parents to perform. Trust me, the cities here in the Phoenix area have plenty of money to spend.

a said...

1:17, I also live in Gilbert. I will agree that Gilbert is one of the nicer places to live in AZ, the schools are much better also. I do believe strongly that the prices need to come down 40% more to be affordable. What is going to drive the prices down are all of the new master planned communities such as Stratland Estates, Lyons Gate, Layton Lakes, Lakeview Trails, etc. that are building thousands of new homes. Gilbert is a rapidly growing town but they are building way more than the current demand and will be forced to slash their prices. The resale market is still very unrealistic as I see many buyers trying to get 2005 prices or higher in some cases.

A friend of mine went through some model homes this last weekend. One of the builders had a house which was around 1800 square feet for $215K. The original starting price on this same house in 2005 was $295K. I would hate to be one of the folks that bought in 2005.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Said: "Get rid of illegals and you'll see crim plummet and test scores jump. "

-----------------------------------

I will not go as far as to say that Phoenix is the next Detroit, but I can sum up most of the problems in a few sentences.

1. Illegal Immigration. Anonymous is exactly right. I have heard complaints from teachers here, and the problem with the schools is not currciculum or money allocation - it is the fact that we are being FORCED to teach all of these anchor babies continuously coming in to the district and balooning the class sizes. GET RID OF THE ILLEGALS and the quality of our schools would go up overnight.

There is hope however. People here have started to see these problems, and have been passing ballot after ballot that will force these illegals to self deport as they will not have any more benifits and won't be able to get a job. Starting January 1, employers here will have serious sanctions for hiring illegals, and a lot of the illegals here have already started to self deport. What is unfortunate is that they may not deport back to Mexico, they will deport to a more illegal friendly state. We also have a hotline now that folks can call if they see illegals congregating or commiting crimes. The sheriff is catching a lot of heat from the usual suspects but he is not backing down. It's a start.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, much better to have a big-government high-spending education system -- like Detroit. Or Philadelphia. Or Baltimore. All of which spend some of the highest amounts per-capita on students and still turn in dismal education numbers.

"You get what you pay for" eh?

BitterRenter said...

Ask 100 people where they'd rather live, San Francisco or Phoenix. 99 will say SF unless they're stupid republicans.

San Francisco is the Paris of America, a rare bright spot in a cesspool country. Phoenix is hell on earth.

Speaking of dirty, trashy places, have you BEEN to downtown Phoenix lately?

Florida is worse. said...

As bad as Phoenix is, Miami Ft. Laud are a lot worse. The Economist has bought some of the boosterism of Miami-diverse, dynanic, eeeba, eeba, eeeba. Good call, they should do a similar analysis on S Fla, Vegas who along w Phoenix are the tripple anuses of the U.S.

Anonymous said...

In my days I have met many people that have left Phoenix vowing to never return.

I have only known one family to move there and they did it because of a job transfer.

They bought a house in 2005.

I feel doubly sorry for them.

TM said...

These anti-Phoenix tirades are nothing more than jealousy from the overweight bald losers here who haven't touched a woman in 20 years.

This may be the first time I've ever read a claim that phoenix-hating is a result of jealousy. Don't get me wrong, the bashing is a bit over the top, but c'mon. It's not like Phoenix is an exclusive club. I'm sure anyone who's ever wanted to live in Phoenix (I can't imagine why, but that's just me) is there already.

Anonymous said...

I think most people would take Chicago or San Francisco over Phoenix any day of the year. Phoenix isn't even in the same ballpark with those two great American cities. San Francisco's bum problem has a lot to do with it's climate. Even the bums are smart enough to get out of Phoenix in the summer.

Anonymous said...

TM said...

These anti-Phoenix tirades are nothing more than jealousy from the overweight bald losers here who haven't touched a woman in 20 years.

This may be the first time I've ever read a claim that phoenix-hating is a result of jealousy. Don't get me wrong, the bashing is a bit over the top, but c'mon. It's not like Phoenix is an exclusive club. I'm sure anyone who's ever wanted to live in Phoenix (I can't imagine why, but that's just me) is there already.

August 23, 2007 7:58 AM

==========================

Smartass read the original post. It's not jealousy of the city. It is jealousy of people in the city who live well and enjoy themselves.

The same people bitching about Phoenix would bitch about anything. You are the people at work who constantly complain. You are the guy in line at the supermarket who complains about the long lines. You are the bafoons who call talk radio and complain.

Just try to live your life for a change, you'll be much happier.

Guy Daley said...

Parents moved me to Phoenix in 1964, went to grade school in Sunnyslope (suburb of Phoenix), high school in Sunnyslope, community college in Glendale, did five years of commercial construction throughout the metro area, etc, etc. Got the hell out of the place (last place I lived was Mesa) about 2002.

Honestly I don't know why Americans move there. You might as well be moving to Mexico. Senior citizens really do lose their faculties as they age. They move there so they don't have to shovel snow? The metro area has as much attraction as Los Angeles and the summers have gotten longer every year. You like $300 electric bills and $100 water bills during the summer? Phoenix is for you. ($300 is for a smaller house, you have 3000 square its more like $500-$600 and property taxes ARE NOT cheap there!!)

Anonymous said...

Half of my family lived in and around Phoenix during the 80's and 90's and I loved going there. A perfect climate 2/3rd's of the year, low cost of living, and in a state with jaw-dropping beauty. Arizona is a wonderful state with so much varied geography.

I have not been back since 2001 or so. From what I hear from relatives out there things have changed for the worse.

But if the Economist does an article on your cities problems it is worth taking notice. From what I have heard, it is an urban planning nightmare.

100% dependent on cheap gas to get around the sprawl is just one problem.

The BIGGEST problem, however, is probably going to be water. What is this city going to do if you don't get much snow in the Rockies a couple years in a row? It's almost unthinkable.

Phoenix is one place where I would not buy real estate if you put a gun to my head. 70% of the economy is either real estate or tourism. With industries like that, it's hard to justify high housing prices.

Of course, some of the run-up had to do with Californian's coming in with their Monopoly money and bidding up real estate. And they also brought their attitudes, beliefs and problems with them.

I still have some family there.......maybe I'll go out and have a look.

Anonymous said...

You like $300 electric bills and $100 water bills during the summer? Phoenix is for you. ($300 is for a smaller house, you have 3000 square its more like $500-$600 and property taxes ARE NOT cheap there!!)

August 23, 2007 6:37 PM

============

I live in Atlanta, my home (rental) is 2450 sq ft and my last bill was $509 for electricity and water including sewer.

$300 a month ain't too bad if you ask me.

Difference between Phoenix and here is that when it's 75 at night in Phoenix it is pleasant and you can open the windows. When it's 75 at night here it is still god-awful due to the humidity and which is why I use my A/C more than I would in Phoenix.

TM said...

The same people bitching about Phoenix would bitch about anything. You are the people at work who constantly complain. You are the guy in line at the supermarket who complains about the long lines. You are the bafoons who call talk radio and complain.

Must every single argument or rebuttal you make consist of building a straw man and knocking him down? People who hate Phoenix are fat bald men with bad sex lives, people who point out such a poor argument are, uh, grocery line bitching something something.

Seriously, argue the statement, not the person you imagine to have uttered it. You look a fool otherwise, swinging away at your own shadow.