Nova Scotia

Mill closure will hurt region's real estate: agent

A veteran real estate agent in Queens County, Nova Scotia expects more homes to hit the market in the wake of the closure of the paper mill.

Paper mill in Brooklyn, Nova Scotia stopped production Saturday morning

More than three hundred people are out of a job after the mill closed Saturday morning. (CBC)

A veteran real estate agent in Queens County, Nova Scotia, expects more homes to hit the market in the wake of the closure of the paper mill.

The shutdown was announced yesterday – throwing 320 people out of a job literally overnight.

Walt MacDonald, who has been selling homes in the area for 25 years, expects many workers in Queens County to head West.

"One of the employees two years ago asked me, 'What do you think would happen with the residential real estate market if Bowater closed?'" he said. "My answer to him was, 'What do you think?' Certainly the closure will have a negative impact."

MacDonald doesn't expect to see a dramatic reduction in home prices because he said people have been bracing themselves for the closure for years.

"It never has been excellent, at best it's been good," he said of the residential market in Queen's County. "I think that over the next few years, Bowater employees certainly will have to move elsewhere."

MacDonald said his business is already seeing an "extreme" slowdown in the market after the ferries to Bar Harbour and Portland stopped running and bringing Americans to the area.

But he's hopeful that a recent trend that saw a number of people returning home from jobs out West will continue. He said that could soften the blow.

"We're not foolish, the closure of any town mill is not going to be good for a community."

The mill employed generations of families for more than 80 years. Its closure means a 10 per cent hit to the tax base of Queens County.

MacDonald is hoping people who want to retire in a quiet area with good facilities will look at properties in Queens County.

   

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