My wife and I have a new hobby. In our free time we drive around our area and look for brown lawns. There are many houses out here that have brown lawns but no For Sale signs up - yet. Still lots of Bank Repo signs and Bank Owned signs out here.
We know of houses that have sat with brown lawns for nine months and never a For Sale sign - in fact we have one at the end of our street. A real nice looking house too.
We saw a hilarious one the other day: a house with a Bank Repo sign on the front lawn and then right next door was a development that had been stopped while in progress! I took a picture with my cell phone camera but it's not sharp enough to post. We're going back there this coming weekend and I'll get a hold of a digital camera for that shot.
We've driven down other residential streets out here and I can find four or five streets that have half the residences For Sale - no lie. We've been down other streets where there are four (4) houses in a row that are up for sale - two of them with brown lawns. We've seen many streets that will have two houses right next to each other or maybe directly across the street from each other that both have brown lawns.
The lenders and brokers out here made a lot of money from reselling bad loans that ended up as Bank Repos and/or Foreclosures.
Out here it will probably take 15 to 20 years for house prices to ever be the same as 2006 prices.
My wife and I just keep watching house prices and waiting for the median house price to equal, or be less than, 3x's the median household income for a given area (zip code). That will be a return to normalcy, traditional house prices and traditional lending standards.