The Morning Report
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In my story today I mentioned the plunging property values for owners at El Cortez.

Here are the units that have sold so far in 2008, as compiled in a snazzy chart by Sam Hodgson.

Here’s some context for why the drops have been so steep, from the first look I took at the building earlier this year:

And though sales have slumped countywide, buyers are especially scarce on this project. Lenders, already reviewing each deal more meticulously, are extremely averse to making mortgages on buildings in litigation. The banks selling the repossessed properties are forced to keep lowering the prices until a buyer can pay cash or work out some other deal with a lender.

The litigation and some unexpected maintenance cost increases mean the rest of the homeowners pay about 30 percent more each month on their association dues than they expected to when they moved in, placing the dues for most units in the $600 and $700 range. That conflates with the developers’ plans to build another condo tower right next door to make the building a tough sell.

KELLY BENNETT

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