I don’t usually like to write unnecessarily about negative things unless I absolutely have to. After all, the news has negativity covered, right? Hard to compete with that! But I did think that these maps were very interesting. They show U.S. concentrations of large mortgages, levels of foreclosure, median home value changes, and rates of unemployment.
Geography of a Recession: Job Losses
Dangerous Loans: Taking on Huge Debt to Buy a Home (Note the scrubber to change view from 2007 to 2000)
Foreclosure Heat Map
2008 Median Home Value
Median Home Value Change
If you notice, most of the shading is in the same places! That’s because it’s pretty much all interrelated: People took on large loans that they might not have been able to afford in the first place, resulting in foreclosure. People with appropriate loans are still in danger of losing their homes if they lose a job. With the resulting excess homes on the market, designers, builders, and construction workers are losing their jobs. With so many homes on the market, the median price drops.
Yes, this is some pretty bad news. And from what I hear, unemployment and foreclosures are going to get worse. But I did want to point out that our metro area actually has it pretty easy, compared to a lot of other places.