The consumer gets blamed a lot, but if a banker showed you that you could buy a house for what you are paying for rent and the value of that house is growing every year who could resist? The average buyer did not know it was a bubble. They were convinced it was the smart thing to do. A way to save for the future. Also who would have thought that millions of people would lose their jobs. The number one reason for foreclosures is loss of job, not buying a home they couldn't afford. Most could afford the home until they lost their job.