A Tale of Two Cities

In recent years, the real estate markets in Las Vegas and Detroit were as different as night and day.  Las Vegas was the site of a building boom, with luxury housing and commercial property going up at an almost astonishing rate.  By contrast, Detroit was a former center of American industry, now aging into rust.

However, with the recent financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market, Las Vegas and Detroit now have something in common.  They are ranked number one and number two for the most abandoned cities in the United States.  And if you had guessed that Detroit was in the top spot, you’d be wrong.

These rankings, taken from U.S. Census information released in February 2009, showed that Las Vegas had the highest rate of housing and rental vacancies of any city in the country — 4.7% and 16% respectively.  While Detroit has a higher percentage of vacant rentals (almost 20%), the rate of housing vacancies is a little lower at 4%.  Considering the amount of high-end property in Vegas and the dire financial straits that many people are facing, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise.  Other exceptionally empty cities include Atlanta, Greensboro, and Dayton in the third, fourth, and fifth spots.

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