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America's Ghost Towns

American Ghost Towns of the 21st Century

There are several counties in America, each with more than 10,000 homes, which have vacancy rates above 55 percent. The rate is above 60 percent in several.

Most people who follow unemployment and the housing crisis would expect high vacancy rates in hard-hit states including Nevada, Florida and Arizona. They were among the fastest growing areas from 2000 to 2010. Disaster struck once economic growth ended.

Data from states and large metropolitan areas do not tell the story of how much the real estate disaster has turned certain areas in the country into ghost towns. Some of the affected regions are tourist destinations, but much of that traffic has disappeared as the recession has caused people to sell or desert vacation homes and delay trips for leisure. This makes these areas particularly desolate when tourists are not around.

The future of these areas is grim. 24/7 Wall St.'s research shows that many have sharply declining tax bases which have caused budget cuts. Forecasts are calling for the fiscal noose to tighten on them even tighter.

(iStock Photo)

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