Ya gotta love those ramen eating Phoenix real estate bloggers on commission who were either too naive or too addicted to their commissions and NAR cheerleading PR to understand the factors at play that made the Phoenix housing market a classic unsustainable financial mania. The jobs! The immigrants! The weather! The golf! And they ain't makin' more desert!
Well, one thing they are making more of in Phoenix these days is foreclosure signs. Lots of 'em. Lots and lots and lots of 'em.
And the Ponzi Scheme ends.
Phoenix: Boom, Bust in Area Beset by Foreclosures - Real Estate Bust and Foreclosure Boom Comes Home to a Neighborhood Built on Easy Credit
Out on Phoenix's suburban fringes, where cement mixers are fast colonizing what's left of the hay and cotton fields, the day is winding to a close. The home hour has arrived. But sundown gives away a troubling secret: Behind dark windows and many unanswered doors, it's clear nobody is coming home.
The ranch home on Via del Palo where the newspaper in the driveway has been sitting unclaimed since April. The house at the corner of 223rd Court with faded fliers stuck in the door. The two-story on Via del Rancho with the phone book on the step.
They're all empty, left behind by a rising tide of foreclosures.
This neighborhood has a still-unfolding story to tell, and it is not always a comfortable one to hear.
Not long ago, builders were raising home prices here thousands of dollars week after week. Families pitched tents in front of sales offices and waited for Saturday morning lotteries to win the right to buy. Buyers -- including more than a few speculators -- gambled with loans whose risks were obscured by euphoria.
This is the tale of how America's real estate boom came to a seemingly ordinary subdivision called the Villages at Queen Creek, where the whipsaw of easy credit has led to some extraordinary times.
They were the best of times, for a while. The empty homes, though, raise serious doubts about what comes next.
"You drive around this subdivision and there are 'For Sale' signs everywhere,"
"Sometimes the neighbors don't like you so much because you're one of the reasons the values are declining,"