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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Recent tax valuations in Brunswick and Carteret counties show property prices have dropped by more than 25 percent since the peak of the coastal real estate bubble.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports properties in the two counties collectively lost $12 billion in value during the economic downturn. The previous tax valuation was based on 2006 market values.

Condominiums or building lots that had been on the market for $300,000 may be worth less than $200,000. Million-dollar homes have dropped well into the six figures.

Real estate agents say the lower values may help stimulate sales by convincing would-be sellers to drop asking prices to realistic levels based on the current market rather than conditions at the peak of the boom.

Information from: The News & Observer, http://www.newsobserver.com

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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