The big cities of the East Coast, Florida, and the West in general had, to use a Greenspanism, the most "froth." But a number of regions were substantially spared from the housing bubble, especially places that most people don't want to live - the Rust Belt, smaller cities in the South, Texas... Actually, a lot of people want to live in Texas; it's one of the fastest growing states - a classic Sun Belt economy - so I'm not sure why it was one of the regions least affected by the housing bubble (with the moderate exception of Austin).
Note that this map uses housing price-to-wage ration, rather than the more common housing price-to-income ratio. Says Florida:
The housing price-to-wage ratio may provide a better gauge of housing bubbles. Income is a broad measure that includes wealth from stocks and bonds, interests, rents, and government transfers and other sources. Wages constitute a more appropriate gauge of a region's underlying productivity, accounting for remuneration for work actually performed.Some of the results:
The housing-to-wage ratio also generates a number of surprises. Greater New York's ratio (9.4) was slightly higher than Las Vegas (9), and Greater DC..'s (8.7) slightly bested Miami (8.4). Boston (8.1) and Seattle (7.6) topped Phoenix (7.2). Chicago's (5.9) was higher than Tampa (5.6) or Myrtle Beach (5.5).So yeah, if you wanted to avoid the worst of the housing bubble, you would have done well to locate in either the negative-growth Rust Belt, or the rapidly growing big cities of Texas. Color me mystified.
What regions seem to have avoided the bubble? The cream of the crop on the housing-to-wage ratio are Dallas (3.5), Houston (3.2), Pittsburgh (3), and Buffalo (2.8).