Gas leak puts a damper on health of local housing market

  • Gas leak with take at least several more months to fix.
  • Porter Ranch is home to a number of gated communities, with a total population of roughly 30,500.
  • Declining interest in Porter Ranch could present an opportunity for purchasers looking to buy low.

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The housing market in the San Fernando community of Porter Ranch is bracing for tough times following a nearby gas leak that has yet to be plugged.

With residents calling for a state of emergency declaration from Governor Jerry Brown, its hard to believe the submarket won’t see a significant drop in single-family home sales activity or values.

The Southland Regional Association of Realtors recently updated its disclosure guidelines to include info regarding the leak.

“Buyer is advised that there is currently a gas leak coming from a Southern California Gas Company storage facility in Aliso Canyon located in close proximity to the Porter Ranch area,” the addendum states. “Buyer is advised to do his own investigation of this matter during buyer’s investigation period.”

On November 13, lawyers representing Save Porter Ranch called on the governor to declare an immediate state of emergency to help Porter Ranch residents. Among other things, the declaration would allow residents to seek emergency relief on mortgage payments. A number of residents have moved to temporary housing following the leak with some reporting of health issues including nausea, headaches and nosebleeds.

Southern California Gas Co. officials initially discovered a gas leak at its Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility on October 23. The leak, coming from an underground well, is releasing large quantities of gas. Work to plug the leak will take at least several more months.

If the leak weren’t enough for Porter Ranch residents, the Termo Company has proposed to drill an additional number of new oils wells at the Aliso Canyon site. The proposal is currently under consideration.

Email Erik Pisor