Industrial size windmills, called turbines, are popping up in more and more communities than ever before. If you’re looking at purchasing (or selling) a home near such an area, you may be wondering the proximity to wind turbines affects property values. There are differing opinions on the impact of wind farms on residential properties, however. Here’s what you should know.
Journal of Real Estate Research Study
In 2016, a study was conducted and published in the Journal of Real Estate Research. It was based on more than 120,000 home sales made in a 15-year period in a community located near a wind turbine farm in Massachusetts. The study concluded there was no evident impact on property values within 10 miles of the wind turbines.
In fact, data analyzed and studies conducted by several research firms found no indication that property values were negatively impacted. Home sales were more likely to be affected by their proximity to power lines or major highways.
University of Rhode Island Study
A study published in 2014 by the University of Rhode Island Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Economics came up with similar findings. Its research involved nearly 50,000 homes within a one to five mile radius of a wind turbine farm. It, too, concluded there was no significant impact (e.g., greater than 5%) on property values. The researchers also recognized that the personal beliefs of the buyer and the community on the possible impact of wind turbines on property values affected sale prices more than the actual proximity itself.
Clark University Study
One study that did show a negative impact on property values near wind turbines was conducted by the Clark University Economics and Financial Studies School of Business. However, a major difference in this study was the number of properties included in the data collection. Unlike the other two studies, the data was based on only three parcels. Because of this, the finding of a 65 percent decrease in value has carried little or no merit.
London School of Economics Study
Studies conducted in the United Kingdom have found similar results as the Journal of Real Estate Research and the University of Rhode Island studies in that there is no significant negative impact on property values near wind turbines. However, the 2013 study by the London School of Economics differed slightly as it found even though the negative impact was minimal, the closer you got to a wind turbine, the more of an impact it did make on home sales prices.
For example, if a home was about a mile from a wind turbine, its value could be reduced by approximately five percent. However, at the point where the wind turbines were barely visible, the loss of value was less than one percent.
So, what does all this data really mean? The proximity to wind turbines affects property values very minimally. However, if you are looking at purchasing a home and moving near wind turbines, it’s always best to get the advice of a real estate professional.