I was forwarded a wonderful graphic by a friend that shows where all the subprime messes really are:
Map with Subprime Graph
You can see by looking at this graph that it looks like most of the problem areas are centered around metro areas where the increase of buyers from the availability of subprime mortgages fueled a huge rush of new construction. Once the speculation and overbuilding collided with the start of foreclosures it snowballed into actual problems where people couldn’t hold on through the downturn.
There was also a fundamental shift in thinking about real estate from a long term conservative investment into a short term – get rich quick with no money down scheme. If everyone was theoretically able to hold out in the long run I don’t think we’d be having nearly the problems we are. The panic has made this worse and I’m betting that late this year or at the latest in 2009 things will start to look better.