Housing Crash Spawns Ghost Subdivisions

Residents live solitary lives in half-built developments
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2008 6:46 AM CDT
An unfinished home in a Toll Brothers development in Litchfield Park, Ariz. is seen in this Feb. 6, 2008 file photo.    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, file)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – The housing bust has left ghost towns scattered across the nation, the Wall Street Journal reports. In a tour of half-built or largely empty developments, the paper finds residents who moved in early, only to find themselves leading lonely lives surrounded by eerily deserted homes and weed-strewn lots. One woman who lives on a street with 30 empty houses outside Atlanta notes the upside: she usually has the community swimming pool to herself.

On the other hand, at night it feels rather like living in a cemetery, she says. The percentage of vacant housing hit 4.8% nationally last month, the Journal notes—the highest point in at least 33 years. And up to a fifth of developers have stopped building over the last year, leaving desolate subdivisions as a monument to bad planning.