Business & Economy

Porter Ranch home prices not hurt by gas leak, study says

                               Porter Ranch neighborhood sign outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility.
Porter Ranch neighborhood sign outside Southern California Gas Co.'s Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

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A year after the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak, dire predictions that home prices in Porter Ranch would take a hit do not seem to have come true. 

In fact, home values in the affected area have increased considerably. 

John Graff, a Los Angeles-based realtor, compared prices in Porter Ranch to two comparable communities in the San Fernando Valley – Studio City and Sherman Oaks – and he found home values in Porter Ranch have gone up just as much as they have in the other neighborhoods.

“If there was an impact on the Porter Ranch real estate market, it doesn’t show up in any of the data points," Graff said. “In the grand scheme of things, I think the Aliso Canyon leak was just a blip on the radar for many buyers.”

The median sale price in the Porter Ranch zip code was $824,500 in September of this year compared to $654,200 in September of 2015, before the leak. 

The increase is in sharp contrast to what attorneys for homeowners suing the Southern California Gas Company predicted last year.

"If you own property in the community, your property values are going to be affected," attorney R. Rex Parris told Porter Ranch residents in December. "There is nothing anybody can do about that." 

Reached through a spokesman Thursday, Parris first asked to see Graff's data and then said he had no comment because his firm is currently suing SoCal Gas on behalf of Porter Ranch homeowners.

"There was not the impact I thought there would be," said Amber Dolle, a realtor who has represented sellers in Porter Ranch. Asked why prices have continued to rise after the leak, she said it all comes to down to supply and demand.

“Porter Ranch might be one of those places people can go that might be a little further out, but it is affordable in terms of Los Angeles prices overall."