In this study, Andy Winkler writes that California was among a handful of states particularly hard hit by the boom and bust of the housing bubble, seeing home values decline by 45 percent statewide. Economic data suggests that housing markets in California have improved greatly in the past year, especially when it comes to house prices and jobs. Yet a very clear divide exists between coastal cities like San Jose and smaller inland cities like Redding and Fresno. Public policy, on the federal and state levels, has in many ways prevented local communities from recovering more quickly and continues to do so. Recent changes in California law have also slowed down foreclosures, likely to the detriment of the overall recovery.