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Think Out Loud

Housing Ripples

Pete Springer/OPB

If a house price fall in the Pacific Northwest, who hears it?

LISTEN TO “Housing Ripples” (24MB MP3)

Portlanders can no longer consider themselves isolated from the housing woes the rest of our state has been feeling for some time. The Case-Shiller index, a housing market indicator, showed this week that home values in the Portland area dropped one half of one percent for two consecutive months. Before that, Portland and Seattle were among the only cities in the country where the housing market remained stable.

Residents of central, southern and eastern Oregon know from experience that when people hesitate to buy homes, it’s not just realtors who feel the crunch. A manufactured-housing plant announced to city officials in Silverton earlier this week that they would be closing their doors by the end of May, leaving 160 people unemployed. In La Grande and Elgin, mill workers are working fewer hours, hoping their employer will be able to ride out the current slowdown.

Are you concerned about the value of your home or the stability of your job? Are rising rents making you think for the first time about becoming a homeowner? What are the ripple effects of the housing slump in your life?

Image credit: DryIcons / Flickr / Creative Commons




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