The old, oil based, suburban sprawl economy based on forever rising house prices, on easy credit, on subdivision after subdivision–on running up credit cards and on leverage piled on leverage piled on arbitrage, is in the middle of cracking up, spectacularly. While there will be a short term reduction in the price of oil, in the long term oil is still going up and the America of the sprawl economy; the economic geography of America, looks entirely different at $4/gallon gasoline than it does at $2/gallon gasoline. Huge swathes of exurbia and suburbia become simply economically unviable. Zombie Burbs.
An interesting take on the current economic outlook. The pertinent question in my mind is where do we put all the refugees from the suburbs? Are we looking at reverse white-flight, where the affluent flock back to the urban cores, while the suburbs take a dive? Judging by the number of high-end condos going up in downtown Austin, this may already be happening.