Indianapolis Foreclosure Homes Prompting Township Revival

by Peter Vernon on cities

Indianapolis foreclosure homes have spurred downtown revival and the growth of Central Township, the most populous among the townships of Marion County.

Central Township covers 41.83 square miles of land and includes 0.85 square mile of water. It encompasses downtown Indianapolis and a portion of Beech Grove.

As people move out of foreclosure-clobbered suburban neighborhoods back into the center of the city where there are jobs, Central Township and downtown Indianapolis are expected to attain growth rates not reached before the housing downturn.

According to urban development analyst Aaron Renn, Central Township has its own problems as an old township but they are not as bad as those suffered by the older parts of other cities such as Detroit, Cleveland and Saint Louis. The township has been gaining population over the past few years.

Renn’s insights are similar to the views of William Lucy, a professor at the University of Virginia who wrote the book Foreclosing the Dream: How America’s Housing Crisis is Reshaping Our Cities and Suburbs. Just like Renn who described the effects of Indianapolis foreclosure homes on the growth of downtown Indianapolis and Central Township, Lucy also contended that the record levels of suburban foreclosures have been prompting suburban residents to move back to the central areas of cities where business and cultural activities are concentrated.

In 2009, the Indianapolis metropolitan area was among several areas which posted declines in foreclosure activity over a one-year period. But despite a decline in foreclosure postings, home prices did not shoot up. The market was able to balance factors and made the city among the best housing markets over the past few years, as ranked by magazines and other firms compiling housing indexes.

In the entire year of 2009 and in January 2010, the pace of Indiana foreclosures slowed down. In 2009, foreclosure postings statewide fell by 10 percent year-over-year, and in January 2010, postings fell by 2.5 percent month-over-month. Of the 4,622 units statewide that became distressed in January, a total of 1,261 units became home foreclosures for sale.

According to Renn, as states and cities come out of the foreclosure crisis, Indianapolis would come out a stronger city. He envisions a densely-populated city but not high-rise like Paris, as households become smaller.

Renn also contended that the pace of Indianapolis foreclosure homes would not completely wipe out suburban neighborhoods. He said that suburban development will continue at a slower pace.

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