Sales poor for controversial Tsawwassen homes
Published Sunday, March 28, 2010 8:01PM PDT
Metro Vancouver real estate may be booming again, but high voltage power lines have kept homes in one Tsawwassen neighbourhood lingering on the market for months.
The homes were once the centre of a major political battle. Residents spent years protesting the power lines' installation, until BC Hydro decided to spend $62-million buying many of them out.
The Crown corporation put the homes back on the market in September, but despite plenty of enthusiasm from buyers last year, only 28 of the 104 homes have sold.
Veteran realtor Paul Eviston says while the health impact of the power lines is uncertain, the financial impact is clear.
"You're probably going to find for every 10 buyers, two would consider buying there, eight would not," Eviston said.
"It's like buying on a busy street; you get a better home on a busy street than you do on a quiet street for equal dollar amount, but when you go resell you're not going to have the same capital appreciation."
And the longer the homes sit vacant, the more it costs BC Hydro. Neighbours say maintenance staff is constantly coming by to mow lawns, tend to gardens and keep the houses up to code.
The province could have avoided purchasing the homes by burying the power lines at a cost of $24-million. The option was deemed to expensive -- but the cost of upgrading, maintaining and selling all 104 homes is now projected at $23-million.
Eviston says though the homes may be moving slowly, they won't stay empty forever.
"Everything sells," he said. "It's just a matter of at what price."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson