Lots snapped up in rare draw

More than half of 28 lots up for grabs in Nordegg were snapped up last week in the area’s first lot draw in four years.

More than half of 28 lots up for grabs in Nordegg were snapped up last week in the area’s first lot draw in four years.

While the response was respectable, it was no match for the frenzy of 2007 when more than 200 people squeezed into Clearwater County’s Rocky Mountain House offices in hopes of nabbing the 22 lots then available.

Joe Baker, Clearwater County’s Nordegg manager, said based on the number of calls fielded at the office and the number of information packages picked up prior to the draw last Friday, staff thought response would be a little stronger. But no one was really sure what to expect.

Fourteen of 24 leisure residential lots suitable for cottage-style homes were drawn, as was one of four reclaimed rural residential lots within the townsite.

“It was a little lower than what we’ve grown accustomed to around here,” said Baker on Monday. “We didn’t have a dog and pony show like we did four years ago, that’s for sure.”

A softer economy was likely a major reason some potential buyers stayed away, he said.

“I think we’re in a little different economic climate right now. Things were pretty different in ’07 (compared) to right now. A lot of things have happened since then,” he said.

Prices range from $74,575 to $89,645 for the cottage lots. The lots are mostly one acre but some are as large as 1.4 acres.

The house lots, which are about two acres, were priced between $144,883 and $167,121.

Lot owners must build on their property within three years.

Baker said the number of sales is probably an indication that the county priced them about right. In 2007, lots were available for around $55,000 and the enthusiasm shown for the draw was seen as a sign that the county had priced them a little on the low side, drawing bargain hunters.

“Anytime you have a set number of lots like that and there are way more buyers than there are lots, you can kind of tell you haven’t hit the number.”

It’s always been difficult to price lots because the county is the only seller, leaving no comparisons to gauge what the market will bear, he said.

“I think we’re probably closer to that number than we’ve ever been.”

Failing to sell out all the lots has a significant up side. Now, for the first time in a decade, Nordegg has lots available for buyers looking for a country getaway.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

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