Wind Facilities 'Don't Affect Property Values' in US

Those investing in property have traditionally stayed well away from homes located near wind facilities, under the...

Those investing in property have traditionally stayed well away from homes located near wind facilities, under the belief the technologies drive prices down. However, a new study has disproved this theory. Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory analysed more than 50,000 home sales near 57 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine US states, and observed no impact on property values.

Ben Hoen, lead author of the study, said: "This is the second of two major studies we have conducted on this topic [...] and in both studies [using two different datasets] we find no statistical evidence that operating wind turbines have had any measureable impact on home sales prices."

The findings are the result of research using several sophisticated techniques to control for other potential impacts on home prices. This required investigators to collect data spanning well before the wind facilities development was announced to after they were constructed and operating. Using this data set, researchers were able to control for any pre-existing differences in home sales prices across their sample and any changes that occurred due to the housing bubble.

This is the most comprehensive study to date and builds on existing US research into the whether wind turbines affect property prices. Mr Hoen says the findings "comport with the large set of studies that have investigated other potentially similar disamenities". These include high voltage transmission lines, landfills and noisy roads.

So what does this mean for investors? Ultimately, that when buying US property, wind turbines shouldn't be a factor in the decision. If prices appear to have dropped recently, investigate other causes - a property in a great location won't see its value plummet simply by being located in the proximity of a wind farm.

Prices are also on the rise across the US, so changing market conditions must also be taken into account. Volatility has had a massive effect on values over recent years and only now as stability increases will it be possible to gauge the true performance of real estate located near to wind turbines.

- Thursday 29 August 2013

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