Add gas prices to housing woes

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Distance to a central business district may mean longer commutes – and accelerated drops in house prices. Due to the dramatic increase in gas prices over the past five years, housing price declines have been more severe in faraway suburbs and metro areas with weak close-in neighborhoods, according to Oregon-based economist Joe Cortright. He points to a zip code near downtown Tampa where prices fell only 1.3 percent from late 2006 to late 2007. By contrast, Ruskin, 17 miles from downtown Tampa, saw prices plunge 21.7 percent.

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