Fredericton — The St. John River is rising fast, and with it real estate prices in the City of Stately Elms.
“Everyone — and I mean everyone — wants to live next to water. It absolutely ups the value of any property, and that’s something we’re taking advantage of this season,” said local real estate agent Janie Yeomans. “Lucky for Fredericton realtors, the ice floes breaking up and melting have made around 85 percent of our listings into lucrative waterfront properties! Cha-ching!”
First-time homebuyers Beth Mason and Jack MacDonald said when they began shopping around in winter, many homes were within their modest budget. Now, though, their dream home has doubled in price.
“We were eyeing a cute little two-bedroom bungalow on Gibson Street that was only about $125,000, but after the flooding, it’s now classified as ‘lakeside’…even though there’s no ‘lake’ nearby, but it’s gone up to a cool half-million,” Mason lamented. “Waaay out of our price range, unfortunately.”
“Yep, our second choice was a slightly more expensive split-entry home near the bottom of Douglas Avenue, but now that’s an effing waterfront property too!” exclaimed MacDonald. “The ad says it ‘boasts a view of the majestic St. John River, with water creeping right into your back yard!’…I guess that’s a good thing now? Anyway, it was $300K and now it’s almost $700K — can you imagine?!”
Many Frederictonians who have flooded basements as a result of the rising waters are jumping at the chance to sell their homes for far more than they paid originally.
“We kept putting off selling for various reasons, but now we have a good excuse to pack up and move to Florida,” said retired teacher Donna Burton. “The residence we paid around $100K for back in 1984 is worth a quarter-million now — we’re set! The bottom floor is completely submerged in water at the moment, but we just called that an in-ground swimming pool in the ad. It’s not not true, right?”
Realtors don’t see prices diminishing until at least summer, when the water finally recedes.
“But then we’ll just charge some kind of ‘balmy weather’ tax or some such bullshit… I don’t know,” said Yeomans. “We just make this stuff up as we go along.”