As we continue to hear about green shoots, recovery and growth, inquiring minds are wondering why Detroit house auction flops for urban wasteland.
After five hours of calling out a drumbeat of “no bid” for properties listed in an auction book as thick as a city phone directory, the energy of the county auctioneer began to flag.
“OK,” he said. “We only have 300 more pages to go.”
There was tired laughter from investors ready to roll the dice on a city that has become a symbol of the collapse of the U.S. auto industry, pressures on the industrial middle-class and intractable problems for the urban poor.
On the auction block in Detroit: almost 9,000 homes and lots in various states of abandonment and decay from the tidy owner-occupied to the burned-out shell claimed by squatters.
Despite a minimum bid of $500, less than a fifth of the Detroit land was sold after four days.
The county had no estimate of how much was raised by the auction, a second attempt to sell property that had failed to find buyers for the full amount of back taxes in September.
Even at prices that are a fraction of a penny on the dollar, the City of Detroit still can’t unload these properties. Detroit, it seems, has truly become an urban wasteland.
The mainstream media, the Fed, the Treasury and National Association of Business Economists are saying that the recession is over and the Greatest Depression has been averted. After reading this story, does anyone really want to believe them? The residents of Detroit, especially those left in any of these neighborhoods, and those that were fighting for emergency “Obama” money recently, would likely tell you that there is no recovery.
Detroit is just the first in what will be many urban wastelands when the next leg of this crisis kicks off, and according to Gerald Celente’s recent interview with James Corbett, it won’t be long.