Last week we asked readers how foreclosures are impacting the markets they serve. Here are some of the responses we received.
Bob Kraus, Saddlebrook Homes, Birmingham, Mich.: Detroit is still as bad as ever. However, [we haven’t] seen any recent new foreclosures,… the newly vacated "unkempt" houses in relatively nice neighborhoods. With the grass having a good month of growing behind us, it is not hard to determine which homes are foreclosures and which are not.
This is a dull and tarnished silver lining to a very dark and ominous cloud that still hovers over Southeast Michigan.
Dennis Dixon, Dixon Ventures, Inc., Flagstaff, Ariz.: Flagstaff had a robust couple of years, 2001 to 2007, but dried up quickly beginning in 4th Qtr 2008—the same time as banking implosions.
Things are muddling along now, slowly in 2009 and better in 2010. Not many foreclosures compared to other parts of Arizona. The market here was not overbuilt. Job declines here have been mostly in construction, real estate, and related industries. Northern Arizona University, W.L. Gore, U.S. Geological Survey, and USDA (Forest Service) jobs remain steady.
Remodeling and upkeep projects are keeping builders and subs working, but not busy.
Flagstaff has several second-home communities with owners that do not utilize, burden, or impose upon the infrastructure of the city. All they do is visit, spend money, and help the local economy. Huge property taxes are paid from these second-homes and gated communities. Foreclosures in those three developments have been apparent but not aplenty. Financially secure owners bought up surpluses and view it as a long term investment. …
Message to the Fed: Keep interest rates low, promote new investment in real estate, and open the valve on lending!