chapter  1
29 Pages

The Ring of Death

WithWilliam H. Lucy

Foreclosure notices in the windows; "no trespassing" signs; noxious weeds. Someone from the city should be mowing these lawns. Foreclosures have not been evenly distributed across the country. On the contrary, they have been happening in some places far, far more than in others. The national foreclosure rate in 2008 was 0.79 percent of all housing units. Even as news accounts were depicting the foreclosure crisis as a national issue having to do with abusive lending practices, skyrocketing prices, and other problems, foreclosure rates in most states were low. Clark County, meaning the entire Las Vegas metropolitan area, had 88 percent of Nevada's foreclosures. In California, foreclosures were more widely dispersed: the metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, and San Francisco contained 63 percent of all foreclosures. It can be harder to gauge exactly where foreclosures are happening than to pin down other kinds of facts about housing. That's because foreclosures tend to be counted up by county.