Toll Brothers’ Porter Ranch project logs big prices, despite methane leak

Toll Brothers' new homes in Porter Ranch and CEO Douglas Yearley Jr.
Toll Brothers' new homes in Porter Ranch and CEO Douglas Yearley Jr.

It seems that not even a chemical catastrophe could hamper the Southern California housing market.

Just 18 months after seeing the worst methane leak in American history, Porter Ranch is seeing a surge in luxury real estate sales, Marketplace reported.

Toll Brothers CEO Douglas C. Yearley Jr. said the company has been logging record prices at the 3,400-unit community of homes and condos it’s building just a mile from where the gas leak occurred. Four houses have sold for more than $2 million apiece, a hefty price tag for the region, according to Toll.

In a fourth quarter conference call, executives told analysts they’d been surprised not to have to offer discounts at the project.

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“We have made no downward adjustments in our pricing,” Yearley said. “It should absolutely be business as usual with typical Southern California pricing power and great action.”

Some potential buyers don’t seem to be concerned about the lingering health hazards.

“I told my wife we were going to buy this house even if we had to wear a gas mask,” said Gabriel Barajas, who will move into a Toll Brothers home in Porter Ranch this summer. [Marketwatch]Cathaleen Chen