Coomentary by David Walden | Pleasanton Weekly - Pleasanton, CA, USA
The pace of teardowns also has slowed and preservationists are applauding the trend. About 75,000 homes a year were torn down across the country at the peak of the market. The National Trust has expanded its list of endangered neighborhoods to include 500 neighborhoods in 40 states.
The demolitions have triggered bitter battles between preservationists and suburbanites seeking new homes in mature, urban neighborhoods. But with new housing starts at a 26-year low, teardowns are experiencing a lull. For instance, in Westport, Conn., teardown permits were down 33 percent in 2008 compared to the previous year.
"The idea that you're going to make a lot of money tearing down an old house to build a new one, that's gone," said Morris Davis, a real estate economist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who has advised the Federal Reserve on the teardown trend.
"We're advising communities to take advantage of this slowdown and use it as a cooling-off period," said Adrian Fine, a regional director for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Washington. "It gives them a little more time to have a less heated and less controversial discussion to protect a specific neighborhood and balance that with the need for growth and development." (Source: The Christian Science Monitor)
Editor's Note: David Walden is a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist and Certified Divorce Planning Professional associated with Diversified Capital Funding of Pleasanton.