Parts of the U.S. with plenty of open space and moderate prices have mostly escaped the housing meltdown.

Over the past three years, home prices have risen in most of the metro areas of 23 states, according to analytics firm Fiserv. States mostly likely to escape the housing meltdown were in the South, the Plains states, and most of the non-coastal West.

The state that is the best example of this phenomenon is Texas, where home prices rose in all 26 metro areas over the last three years.

The 16 states hardest hit by the decline were in New England and the Northeast, plus California, Florida, Nevada, and Arizona.

The seven cities that are the best bets for a quick recovery are San Francisco, Seattle, Pittsburgh, Rochester, N.Y., Memphis, Tenn., Oakland, Calif., and Birmingham, Ala.

Source:, Les Christie (10/21/2009)