Despite some tentative signs of recovery, the U.S. housing market remains vulnerable to further price drops--especially in areas where large numbers of mortgages are headed toward foreclosure over the next few years.

The Wall Street Journal's quarterly survey of housing-market data in 28 major metro areas shows sharp drops in the number of homes listed for sale across the country. But the potential supply of homes is far larger because banks are likely to acquire significant numbers of foreclosed homes in some areas, notably Las Vegas, Atlanta, Detroit, Phoenix, Miami and other parts of Florida, and Sacramento, Calif., over the next few years.

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