Exurbs, Once Meccas for Homeowners, Now for Rent

Economy trumps plans for thriving communities
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2009 12:48 PM CDT
Exurbs, Once Meccas for Homeowners, Now for Rent
Exurbs helped popularize McMansions.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Not long ago, the exurbs were were among the fastest-growing parts of the country, drawing people seeking to own affordable homes on sizable pieces of property. But after waves of foreclosures and soaring unemployment, more and more people are turning to renting. Renting keeps landlords afloat, but it also drives down property values and kills community stability, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Property values have declined more in exurbs than in cities or suburbs; many recently developed communities are turning into rental zones, which some experts see as the first step on the way to becoming low-cost housing. They predict the same urban decay that plagued cities in the postwar period, as more and more affluent people moved to the suburbs.

(More housing market stories.)

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