A tale of two housing busts: Why is California recovering and Florida still struggling?
California and Florida had a lot in common during the housing industry's last boom-and-bust cycle. Both were overrun by buyers hooked on high-risk mortgages, speculators who helped push prices to historic peaks and builders who didn't know when to stop. When the bubble burst, the two states became leaders in mortgage defaults, price declines and tracts of unsold new homes. But in the last year or so, California's housing market, though still weak, has begun recovering, while Florida's remains on the critical list.