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NEW YORK (CNN/Money) Home prices in Chico, Calif.? "Too high."

Home prices in Salt Lake City? "Too low."

But, in Tucson, Ariz. "Just right."

These were the conclusions of study by Richard DeKaser, chief economist for National City Corp., who ranked 99 major real estate markets based on how much they are under or overpriced relative to what he deems "normal housing values."

In 2004, houses in Chico, Calif. sold for 43 percent more than their fair value, according to DeKaser, while houses in Salt Lake City sold for 23 percent less than their fair value.

To come up with each markets fair value DeKaser studied data going back 25 years. Among other things, he looked at how much buyers are paying today relative to their incomes verses how much they paid in the past. This helps take into account the premium buyers are willing to pay for such things as location, weather and amenities.

For example, historically residents of Los Angeles have spent four to six times their income while residents of Kalamazoo have spent only twice their annual income, he said.

His conclusion: 27 of the markets in his study are overvalued, 29 are undervalued and 43 are fairly valued, with prices no higher or lower than 10 percent of their fair value.

"There are two ways these valuations can be corrected," he said, explaining that his valuations are not unlike the price-to-earnings ratios used to value stock. "Either prices decline or the underlying fundamentals improve."

City/Metro Area percent
fair value
City/Metro Area percent
fair value
City/Metro Area percent
fair value
Chico, CA 43% Philadelphia, PA 6% Austin, TX -5%
Stockton, CA 34% Milwaukee, WI 6% Charleston, SC -5%
Santa Barbara, CA 34% Providence, RI 5% Dayton, OH -5%
Los Angeles, CA 32% Toledo, OH 5% Hartford, CT -6%
San Francisco, CA 30% Bakersfield, CA 5% Cincinnati, OH -6%
Modesto, CA 30% San Antonio, TX 3% Madison, WI -6%
San Diego, CA 28% Jacksonville, FL 3% Charlotte, NC -6%
W. Palm, FL 26% Rockford, IL 2% Columbus, OH -7%
Sacramento, CA 25% Orlando, FL 2% Davenport, IA -7%
Las Vegas, NV 24% Visalia, CA 2% Columbia, SC -8%
Portland, OR 24% Raleigh, NC 2% Nashville, TN -8%
Miami, FL 23% Phoenix, AZ 2% Omaha, NE -9%
Sarasota, FL 22% Canton, OH 1% Des Moines, IA -10%
Detroit, MI 22% Louisville, KY 0% Tulsa, OK -10%
Saginaw, MI 21% Tucson, AZ 0% Harrisburg, PA -10%
Bellingham, WA 21% Tampa, FL -1% Lincoln, NE -11%
Fresno, CA 19% Atlanta, GA -1% Houston, TX -11%
Reno, NV 19% Daytona Beach, FL -1% Dallas, TX -11%
New York, NY 16% Richmond, VA -1% Wichita, KS -11%
St. Louis, MO 16% Greensboro, NC -1% Buffalo, NY -11%
Greenville, SC 15% Colorado Springs, CO -1% Topeka, KS -13%
Boston, MA 14% Boise City, ID -1% Birmingham, AL -13%
Honolulu, HI 14% Fort Collins, CO -2% Rochester, NY -13%
Denver, CO 14% Spokane, WA -2% Oklahoma City, OK -13%
Seattle, WA 14% Allentown, PA -2% Baton Rouge, LA -14%
Eugene, OR 13% Kansas City, MO -2% New Orleans, LA -14%
Chicago, IL 11% Peoria, IL -3% Albuquerque, NM -14%
Washington, DC 10% Richland, WA -3% Syracuse, NY -16%
Minneapolis, MN 10% Lancaster, PA -5% Beaumont, TX -16%
Lansing, MI 8% Indianapolis, IN -5% Little Rock, AR -16%
Kalamazoo, MI 8% Norfolk, VA -5% Macon, GA -17%
Cleveland, OH 7% Pittsburgh, PA -5% Memphis, TN -20%
Grand Rapids, MI 6% Fort Wayne, IN -5% Salt Lake, UT -23%
* Figures represent 2004 prices relative to those implied by fundamentals.