Underwater Nation: Are Home Prices Drowning?

We've been hearing the drill for a while now: Home prices are down, having dropped 2.6 percent nationwide during the last three months of 2010. Foreclosures keep coming as if they were on an assembly line.

In Phoenix, it is estimated that as many as 70 percent of homeowners are underwater on their loans. The story is not much better in Las Vegas, where it is cheaper to buy a home now than rent. Real estate is, of course, always a highly local story and some markets are treading water. But overall, more than one of out every four Americans -- or 30 percent -- is underwater on their homes. And the bad news is that is worse than last quarter, when 23.2 percent of homeowners owed more than their homes were worth.

Where is this going?