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Fascinating reading: "Brentwood (Calif.) the poster child for housing bust"

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Newsjock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-10-08 11:03 PM
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Fascinating reading: "Brentwood (Calif.) the poster child for housing bust"
Very long Sunday-front story
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Roger Abraham stands in his driveway, one hand holding the newspaper, the other sweeping across the homes on Brentwood's Solitude Street. "This one," he points, "this one, this one."

All empty.

This farming community on the eastern edge of the Bay Area absorbed an outsize portion of the region's growth during the prolonged housing and development boom, adding 40,000 residents in the past 16 years as subdivisions and strip malls overtook agricultural land. It regularly ranked among the state's fastest-growing cities. Now, Brentwood is suffering disproportionately from the bust.

Hundreds of families have lost their homes to foreclosure since the beginning of last year, and in a sign of more to come, at least 1 out of every 16 households has received default notices.

... At least two real estate agents stop into Sweeney's each week looking for a job as bartenders or waitresses, he said.

... "Brentwood is kind of the poster child for what's going on in the housing market," said Howard Sword, the former community development director. "We were so active in the years where the subprime finance creative tools got rolled out, we were issuing like 1,400 to 1,600 building permits a year."

This year, the city has issued nine permits for single-family homes.

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