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Gulf Coast agents report spill impacts

Many say impact of unemployment, public perception most significant

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The vast majority of real estate brokers, agents and appraisers doing business on or near the Gulf Cost say they've seen little physical property damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill, but nearly one in four say it's had a negative impact on their market.A survey of 1,000 Gulf Coast real estate professionals by data and valuation firm Clear Capital found only 3.2 percent have seen any physical property damage.But 23.8 percent reported negative impacts on their market, and more than half of those said home prices were down by 5 to 15 percent.Coastal areas of Alabama and the Florida panhandle had the highest concentration of physical property damage and saw the greatest drops in home sales and property values, Clear Capital said.In Mobile, Ala., home sales were down 25 percent in June from a year ago, and Panama City, Fla., saw a 32.5 percent decline in sales volume.Many markets around the country have seen a decline in sales following the expiration of the federal homebuyer ta...