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Baja housing woes

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A condo tower rises above the highway into Rosarito, Mexico. About 7,000 condominiums are under construction from Tijuana to Ensenada, with 5,600 others in the planning stages. But the area’s real estate market is flagging because of the U.S. sub-prime mortgage debacle and the credit squeeze. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Billboards in English beckon prospective home buyers to purchase a slice of the good life in northern Baja California. Home equity-rich Californians and Arizonans snapped up vacation properties as if they were buying $10 lobster dinners. But investors who had hoped to flip condominiums are having trouble finding buyers. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
Baja - Trump Ocean Resort
One of the most closely watched projects is the Trump Ocean Resort Baja north of Rosarito. The development will include more than 500 luxury condominiums, upscale restaurants and a spa. Builders recently broke ground on the first tower. Despite the high prices -- $279,000 to $3 million -- 80% of the 230 condos have been sold. But pre-sales in the second tower have been slow. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Earthmovers make progress on the Trump Ocean Resort Baja. A project spokesman says investors know that Donald Trump has a proven track record and the deep pockets to ride out the market turbulence. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Interest in the Trump Ocean Resort Baja is strong, according to a project spokesman who said a June sales event yielded $45 million in contracts in just five hours. Still, some Baja real estate veterans worry that other projects will fold. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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Flamboyant deal maker Donald Trump figures prominently in marketing material in the Trump Ocean Resort Baja sales office. The Trump Organization, which he heads, is a partner in the development. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
A model of Trump Ocean Resort Baja, where units will sell for about double the going rate around Rosarito. (Rick Loomis / LAT)
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A placid view of the Pacific Ocean from the Trump resort belies the angst felt by some investors in the area. (Rick Loomis / LAT)