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Late to peak, Portland real estate market still mired in downturn

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While housing markets around the country were sinking several years ago, Portland, Ore., was a holdout, relatively speaking. It has, unfortunately, made up for lost time.

Recent data tell the tale: In the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller 20-City Home Price Index for March, Portland's housing market was one of a dozen metros around the country among those tracked by Case-Shiller that hit their lowest points since home values began sliding more than four years ago. On a year-over-year basis, Portland prices dipped by 7.6 percent, pushing them back to levels last seen in fall 2004.

In the insult-to-injury category, also reported in early May that Portland houses have lost 30.6 percent of their value since the bubble peaked in 2007, slightly outdoing the 29.5 percent loss of value it reported nationwide. The valuation website also estimated that 36 percent of Portland homeowners are underwater, owing more on their mortgages than the...