A new study from U.Va. says that the "housing crisis" — the rise in foreclosures and the significant drop of home values — is concentrated in only a handful of states. And even within a state, a small number of areas is dragging everyone’s numbers down.
The analysis, done by U.Va. professor William Lucy and graduate student Jeff Herlitz, looked at all 50 states, 35 major metro areas, and 236 counties.
The results? They found that 87 percent of housing losses in 2008 came from California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona (plus "a modest number of metropolitan counties in other states").
Although there are pockets of substantial declines, claims that overall housing values have tanked nationwide are exaggerated, they said. "In the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, for example, prices have barely changed in the District of Columbia, Alexandria and Arlington County, and parts of Fairfax County in Virginia. The largest price declines ( more than 30 percent in 2008 ) have been in Prince William County, Va., but even there, the range of price declines in its six zip codes ranged from 49 percent to only 6 percent."