High end housing isn't selling in the Twin Cities. Is that just a hassle or is it creating a new kind of upscale urban blight?
In ordinary times, no one would cry over empty McMansions. But Twin Cities real estate appraiser Julie Schwartz says it's become a serious concern.
A source in our Public Insight Network, Julie tells us:
In 25 years of being in the real estate industry, I have never encountered blight in mid- to upper bracket neighborhoods before. We are seeing the next group of foreclosures in this mid- to upper-bracket.
What I see missing from most media coverage of the housing and credit crisis is the changing landscape of our communities. On the road I live, which is median to upper bracket housing, there is one house that is very blighted, sitting there with a project half done, including an addition without siding, and a roof with missing shingles.
There are streets which are partially developed, and which appear strange due to knowing no new construction will occur for sometime, as the prices of the used housing is lower than the construction cost new, less accrued depreciation.
She makes a couple of other good points. The summer months have brought into clear view the "lack of upkeep" that might have been hidden in the winter and spring.
Also, she says, local governments are having to pick up the pieces of failed developments and she sees the $8,000 credit the Feds are offering as an incentive to buy homes as "pathetic, at best."
I definitely want to explore this and may ask Julie for a tour. Do you see what Julie's seeing? Drop me a line or post below.
Better yet, send me a photo of upscale housing blight with some description of where it is and what's happening. Use this form.
Check out the map below to read what people in our network are telling us about housing markets in Minnesota.