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Portland region May home sales fell to the lowest level for that month in at least 15 years - in part a reflection of the smaller pool of discounted foreclosures available compared with most of the West. The overall median sale price continued to erode more slowly than in many other U.S. markets, but it was still at its lowest point in nearly four years, a real estate information service reported.

Foreclosure resales - homes resold in May that had been foreclosed on at some point in the prior 12 months - accounted for about 17.2% of all Portland area resales, up from 5.9% in May 2008 but down from a peak of 18.9% in March 2009. The May figure was well below levels seen in many other major Western markets, where foreclosures accounted for half or more of all resale activity.

A total of 2,465 new and resale houses and condos closed escrow during May in the Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton metro area (see included MSA counties below). That sales total rose 4.6% from April but dropped 22.2% below a year earlier, according to MDA DataQuick. The San Diego firm tracks real estate trends nationally via public property records.

The number of homes sold in May was the lowest for that month since at least 1994, when DataQuick's complete (all home types) Portland region sales statistics begin. The May total marked the 39th consecutive month in which total sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis. Portland region sales have been the lowest on record for that particular month for the last 13 consecutive months.