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The Boston Globe

Metro

Central Mass., home of the housing bust

Towns like Athol, Orange reel; no recovery in sight

ATHOL - How far have home values dropped in this Central Massachusetts town? The answer sounds like the punch line to a joke, but no one is laughing: They’ve eroded so much that you can buy a house for about the cost of a Toyota Camry.

“If [prices] go much lower, they will be giving them away,’’ said Matt Tarlin, an investor from Needham who has bought three homes in Athol and nearby Orange, where values are similarly depressed, and houses sell for as low as $20,000.

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