John Ross condos go cheap

Portland’s largest condo building auctions off 47 units at steep discounts.

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The John Ross tower, Portland’s largest condo building, auctioned off 47 units in less than two hours last weekend.

The units were sold at significant discounts — an average of 50% off prices charged during the real-estate heyday.

The John Ross condos were listed for an average of $711,000 during the top of the housing market. They sold Sunday for about $316,000, according to winning bids announced at the auction.

Despite the discounts, the sell-off moves the lender closer to getting the John Ross off its books and to its goal of selling out the 303-unit building by the end of 2010. The auction sales also will reduce the lender’s costs for property taxes and insurance. If all the sales close, the auction will have produced $14.8 million in sales.

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