Decline in real estate values occurring during economic hardships such as depression or recession. The late 1980s and early 1990s experienced a depressed real estate market. Many office buildings remained totally, or almost totally vacant. One region of the country may be doing well while another is doing poorly. Further, it is possible that even though commercial real; estate values are declining, price of residential homes may be increasing, or vice versa. During a shakeout, huge losses may be experienced by real estate owners with some declaring bankruptcy.