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…but we didn't get to eat it. I'm talking about the local real estate bubble, something I haven't discussed in these pages for quite some time.

The reason I'm circling back to it now is because back in the heyday people commonly said that Bend would be insulated from future recessions because of our real estate boom. This was akin to having our cake and eating it, too.

Well it turns out it doesn't quite work that way. In fact, the consequences of the local real estate boom have been much more dramatic here than most regions around the country.

This is evidenced by the fact that Bend real estate prices saw the largest decline in the first quarter in the country. Out of over 300 metropolitan areas, ours was the worst. Maybe those saying we were the most overvalued in the nation back at the peak were on to something.

As a consequence of this real estate meltdown Bend has made another dubious “top” list: we now have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Nearly 16% of the local population is out of work.

Should we have known better? If so, would we have had the courage to do anything differently? I don't know. But it sucks having the real estate cake smashed in our face like this.