More than 50 metropolitan areas representing 31% of the U.S. housing market are "extremely overvalued" and face a high risk of price declines, according to the economics department of National City Corp., Cleveland.The company said the study looked at the top 299 U.S. real estate markets (representing 80% of U.S. single-family housing) over the past 20 years. It concluded that 53 metro areas may face price corrections. "Markets with valuation premiums above 30% were deemed at risk for price corrections based on the typical degree of overvaluation that preceded the 63 known local market price declines observed since 1985," National City reported. The study by National City chief economist Richard DeKaser found Santa Barbara, Calif., to be the nation's most overheated market, at 69% above the norm. The study, "House Prices in America: Valuation Methodology and Findings," can be found online at http://www.nationalcity.com/economics.

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