Tucson’s 15.9% rental vacancy rate: Mini-dorms in a sick housing marketby Pamela Powers Hannley on Aug. 07, 2011, under Arizona, Capitalism, economy, education, Historic architecture, Politics, Tucson
Each August Tucson– like college towns nationwide– sees a flurry of activity as students move back to town and scramble to find lodging.
In recent years, local mini-dorm developers have gone wild– buying up cheap houses (thanks to record foreclosures and a glut of houses for sale), unceremoniously leveling the said houses, and constructing mini-dorms– the scurge of Tucson’s University-area neighborhoods.
This year– with a 15.9 percent rental vacancy rate– Tucson is a renters’ market. For rent signs abound. Good for students and other renters. Not so good for landlords and mini-dorm developers.
Back in April, I pondered the fate of the mini-dorm market– given dramatic hikes in tuition at The University of Arizona. Tucson’s recent designation as the “sickest housing market in the US”, its recent designation as the most impoverished city in the Sunbelt, and its glut of unrented rentals make my question even more poignant: Will mini-dorms become empty monuments to greed?
How much you wanna bet that mini-dorm developers Michael Goodman and Richard Studwell try to sell these architectural behemoths to the city when they can’t rent them?