Along the streets of Far Rockaway, many recently built two- and three-family town houses sit waiting for even one family to move in. Some have boarded-up windows, while others have clumps of garbage in driveways that have never seen a car. Desperate developers hoping to cover their bets — and stem their losses — tape up both For Rent and For Sale signs inside windows that face nearly deserted streets.
Risky Loans Help Build Ghost Town of New Homes
City Councilman James Sanders Jr. talking with constituents in southeast Queens. Mr. Sanders said his district has been hit hard by a credit and foreclosure crisis.
The same blocks were once home to sprawling single-family houses with wraparound porches. But during the superheated real estate market of just a few years ago, longtime residents sold out to developers who rapidly demolished the old to build rows of plain vanilla town houses sold, it seemed, to anyone who could sign a mortgage application.
But as the market cooled and credit got tighter, many of the new homes sat empty. On a few blocks, developers have built nothing but plywood walls to hide the weed-choked lots after the old houses were torn down.
Photo from NY Times