A realtor at ground zero of the oil leak said the disaster was having a “horrible, just horrific” effect on sales.Carolyn Angelette said around 100 clients have canceled summer rentals in Grand Isle, LA. Other clients have postponed plans to buy a home until they see the full extent of oil damage. At this rate, she warns, her Century 21 office will go out of business.
“Even if they were to stop the oil today, people will be fearful of coming out here and getting in the water,” Angelette said.
Home prices in the beach town held steady during the housing crash, Angelette explained, as most Grand Isle buyers are looking for second homes. Property destruction during Hurricane Katrina was a greater problem. By this summer, however, the market was ready for a strong recovery.
“The oil spill couldn’t have happened at a worse time,” Angelette said.
Like her clients, Angelette fears the worst. She thinks chemical dispersants released by BP have made an even bigger toxic mess, which may turn Grand Isle into a uninhabitable wasteland, the next Love Canal.
See pictures of the town covered in oil >>
Disclosure: The author owns shares in BP and Transocean.