LRT lines near homes could be a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ thing, Calgary realtors say

From Bow Trail to West Springs, tracks have been laid and bridges have been erected – but what will Calgary’s West LRT do for its neighbouring real estate?

For Calgary realtor Craig Sims, there are a couple of ways to look at it.

“It can be good and bad – the bad part is when people build houses and (then planners) put a track behind them,” he said.

“That can cause the price of the houses to drop, but it happens over time – when the market goes up those houses (next to the tracks) don’t move as much.”

Sims said that in his several years of experience selling houses, clients who at first seem excited about having a station steps away, tend to hesitate after a showing.

“When people can actually view it – they’ll be like, ‘holy crap, does that train make that noise all the time?’”

Still, Sims said that it is really only a rotten deal for the properties right next door to the train. He adds that even a couple of blocks away, ease of access to the CTrain has the opposite effect.

Calgary realtor Bob Jablonski has a much more optimistic view of the installation of the West LRT.

“Any time you add something positive into a community, it’s a good thing,” Jablonski said. “In general, the LRT is good for sustainability and it adds to the quality of life (for community residents.)”

Similarly, realtor Anne Lindsay said that in the grand scheme of things the West LRT is a great thing for the surrounding communities.Homes close to the new tracks may see a depreciation in value.
Illustration courtesy of Angelica McDonald

“When people found out that the LRT was coming, prices went up,” she said. “During construction some properties have been hard to sell, and some clients will even wait to sell until construction is finished.”

After completion though, she said that being able to walk to the train is a “major bonus for selling.”

Lindsay predicts that over time the houses lining the track will become rental properties, and overall the presence of a train will only maintain or boost resell values for west-end homeowners.

mmolloy@cjournal.ca