PORTLAND (AP) – Maine has experienced a real estate “bubble,” but not as serious as the nation’s. But experts say the state’s market will still have to wait a year or so for the nation’s problems to sort themselves out.

A bubble occurs when real estate prices outpace inflation. Experts told Maine Public Radio that this happened in Maine, but on a much smaller scale than nationally.

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington warned early of a real estate bubble. Baker says that nationally, inflated prices stood to fall 20 to 25 percent, and up to 35 percent where the prices rose most sharply.

Charles Colgan of the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine says Maine’s housing market didn’t see the dramatic rises and free-falling prices other regions saw. He says Maine did see prices outpace inflation, but no major bubble.

Colgan says the state will have to wait for the nation’s real estate problems to ease before its own little bubble goes away, and that could take 12 to 18 months.

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