Blog Archives

Phoenix exurb developments “worst in the U.S.”

The article, Urban Planning Done Wrong, in the October issue of Dwell magazine calls the exurb developments of Phoenix the “worst in the U.S.”

“Developer-driven exurbs such as Anthem and Verrado surrounding Phoenix, Arizona, are prime examples of the unchecked low-density sprawl that urban planners around the globe are desperately trying to abandon.  These developments are located some 30 miles from the city center, where a majority of jobs are located, and they are usually connected by only one major freeway.  Residents thus depend on a long, narrow lifeline to meet their basic needs or fulfill simple tasks.  Virginia Tech associate professor Robert Lang believes that in an uncertain future, these types of residential areas are the greatest disadvantage for long-term livability.”

Regarding said “distinction,” website unrefinery.com opines, “We hesitate to even call Phoenix a city; the decentralized home turf of Allied Waste would be best described as a 400-square-mile monument to sprawl, water waste, traffic bottlenecks, and crystal meth.  Urban planning sometimes seems esoteric, but Phoenix offers a real-world reminder of why we need it.”

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Metro Phoenix’s growing mortgage problem spreading

[Source: Catherine Reagor, Arizona Republic] — Metropolitan Phoenix’s foreclosure problem has spread.  Many Valley neighborhoods closer in, particularly in south, west, and central Phoenix, now have the highest foreclosure rates, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of real-estate data from the Information Market.  Foreclosures across metro Phoenix number 16,647 for the first half of the year compared with 9,966 during all of 2007 and 1,070 in 2006.

Last summer, when foreclosures were just starting to climb, the highest rates of home defaults were found on the Valley’s more affordable fringes.  The problem worsened, hitting a wider swath of homeowners who bought at the peak of the housing boom through subprime loans.  Although some of the Valley’s fringe areas such as Surprise, Anthem, and Buckeye continue to have high foreclosure rates, the problem has moved inward.  “It has become more of an equity problem than a subprime problem,” said Tom Ruff, a real-estate analyst with Information Market. [Note: To read the full article, click here.  What’s the foreclosure rate in your zip code?  Click here to find out.]