Nova Scotia’s churches aren’t for sale, but property that once would have provided a cushion is going.

Property sales are key to settlement

By 
  • June 17, 2011

ANTIGONISH, N.S. - For those looking for property in northern and eastern Nova Scotia, there are deals to be had.

The agent representing the diocese of Antigonish, the Chaisson Group, lists 58 properties at www.churchpropertysales.info, 16 of which have already sold. Most of the properties are lots or acreage.

If the diocese got its asking price for every property it would make $7,775,600. The asking prices for the properties already sold comes to $1,604,000.

Selling the properties is a key part of the overall strategy to raise $18 million by November 2012 in order to satisfy settlement agreements with victims of clerical sexual abuse.

The diocese is asking $264,900 for a waterfront home in Iona on Lake Bras d’Or, two hours drive from Antigonish. But a more typical property is 2.5 acres on Bayfield Beach Road in Antigonish for $125,000.

Whether the properties actually sell has got everything to do with time-honoured principals of real estate, said Antigonish real estate broker Robert Wambolt of Coldwell Banker Mary Pat Realty in Antigonish.

“Always the case when you’re talking real estate, it depends on the location and the type of property it is,” Wambolt said.

Given the large territory, including Cape Breton Island, the diocesan property sell-off isn’t going to dampen prices generally.

“I think they’re being careful not to flood the market,” Wambolt said.

Antigonish’s real estate market generally is in pretty good shape and fairly active, according to Wambolt. The presence of St. Francis Xavier University and St. Martha’s Regional Hospital ensures local employment and constant demand.

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