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No pot-related plummet in Canadian property prices: report

A cannabis plant is shown in Quebec on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

New report suggests property values have not dropped because of legal cannabis operations

'Big cannabis' has created localized, pot-related real estate booms in some cases, RE/MAX report finds

Report suggests there has not been a significant effect on neighbourhood prices in places like Vancouver, Calgary

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – While there have been complaints about odour and noise near some operations in the Lower Mainland, a new report suggests property values have not dropped because of the legal weed industry.

In some cases, “big cannabis” has even created localized, pot-related real estate booms, according to RE/MAX’s Cannabis Reflection: The impact on Canada’s housing market.

The report points to Smith Falls, Ontario, which saw an abandoned Hershey plant transformed into a pot mega-facility by Canopy Growth, revving up the local economy and creating a trickle down effect on home sales and prices.

“The impact of Canopy Growth on Smiths Falls cannot be understated, and it’s growing,” says Christopher Alexander with RE/MAX of Ontario-Atlantic Canada.

“The economy in the Rideau-St. Lawrence area is experiencing a boom, which is triggering home sales, which rose by 27.1 per cent year-over-year, and average prices increased 10.5 per cent. Demand is up and there’s a housing shortage in the region.”

While that’s not the case everywhere, the Leger survey also finds worries about declining property values near retail stores have not come to pass.

Pointing to Vancouver and Calgary, which have seen a heavier influx of pot shops, it suggests there has not been a significant effect on neighbourhood prices.

RE/MAX says this is despite the results of an earlier survey, which found 65 per cent of Canadians would not like to live near cannabis retail stores.

“It appears that there were a lot of anticipated reservations surrounding cannabis retail and the negative impacts on local property values that did not come to pass. We have not seen a decrease in home sales or prices that can be attributed to legal cannabis,” says Alexander.

However, the most recent survey does find one-in-four (25%) Canadians say they’d move if a cannabis store opened nearby.

Almost a third (31%) say it would deter them from buying in a neighbourhood, but 44 per cent say they would like to live near a weed shop.