Clean Power

Published on March 31st, 2014 | by Joshua S Hill


Wind Farms Have No Sizable Impact On House Prices

March 31st, 2014 by  

New research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) and RenewableUK has found what many had already deciphered, that the presence of wind farms has “no significant effect” on the price of houses within 5 kilometeres of wind turbines.

Both based out of the United Kingdom, Cebr and RenewableUK have added further backing to American research which has time and again reached the same conclusion. As CleanTechnica author Mike Barnard wrote earlier this month, countless studies seem to all be saying the same thing:

Nine major and statistically reliable studies covering roughly 270,000 property transactions by different respected and independent organizations in three different countries spread over fifteen years have found no correlation between operating wind turbines and negative property values (in fact, three found slight but statistically insignificant improvements).

The Cebr and Renewable UK research is one of the first in-depth investigations into the link between UK house prices and wind farms, using Land Registry data from 1995 to 2013, examining data of more than 82,000 property transactions all within a 5 kilometre radius of 7 wind farms spread throughout England and Wales.

According to RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Maria McCaffery, “the report concluded that local house prices continue to perform just as they would have done whether or not the wind farm had been built, remaining in step with what’s happening to average house prices in the county as a whole.”

“This is the first deep dive into real data on this issue,” said McCaffery. “At last we have a detailed independent analysis into what actually happens to property prices before, during and after wind farms are constructed, over a period of nearly twenty years.”

In fact, McCaffery noted that the report found that the impact of wind farms on house prices remained the same through every stage of the process — “when plans to construct a wind farm are announced, when construction begins, when the wind farm goes operational and after it has been installed.

“This shows that claims that wind farms might have a negative effect on house prices are unfounded.”

As Mike Barnard concluded at the end of his piece earlier this month, the fears that exist about wind farm location and proximity are based in unreality, not fact. RenewableUK and Cebr have just added more proof to back this theory up.

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  • Discussion with CEBR led to the number of transactions assessed in the stude: over a million. This makes ten studies with robust mythologies covering 1.3 million transactions in three countries with eighteen years of data.

    That’s pretty damned empirical.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I haven’t looked at any of the studies in detail. Did any break the data down and look only at houses located very close, within 0.5 km, to a turbine? Or between 0.5 and 1 km?

      I’m willing to believe that there are a few, probably a very small number, of houses quite close to turbines.

      I remember from a few years back where someone posted a picture of a turbine very close to their house. From the angle at which the picture was taken it wasn’t a case of using a long lens to make the turbine appear closer to the house. It was close. And they received no compensation so they were pissed. I would expect that it would have been a bit difficult to sell their house.

      • The Cber assessed 1 km and 2 km radius assessments but there were insufficient transactions within those ranges for any statistical certainty. As they point out, wind farms just aren’t built that close to lots of homes in most places, so there are relatively few properties within those radiuses and they don’t sell all that often.

        The most pertinent assessment to this point was the latest cross-USA study by the LBNL. It looked specifically at that point as well as looking at frequency of sales near wind turbines and found no evidence of house price variances closer to wind turbines and no evidence of different frequency of sales near wind turbines.

        Each sub-myth and criticism as it gets brought up gets tested and found to be wanting.

        The LBNL and others are good empiricists and say clearly that they can’t rule out that some homes somewhere are impacted. But they are very clear that statistically there is no evidence of any downward impact on house prices by nearby wind farms outside of fear-induced impacts post-announcement and pre-operation (three of the studies have observed that now) and that this observed downward pressure due to fear is eliminated once wind farms are operational. In other words, if you’d like a great country place, go to some area where anti-wind types are spreading fears post-wind farm announcement and make lowball offers. Someone might take you up on it. But that would be taking advantage of people in the grip of irrational fears, which would be unethical.

        • Bob_Wallace

          I wonder if there is a way to peel off some of the “wind farms kill house prices” people by early on in the discussion stating that there might be one or two houses somewhere that are extremely close to turbines and they might have a problem. Then go on to describe how if there are any they haven’t turned up to date (something along that line).

          Not going to stop the most invested in opposing wind, but it might trim the size of the group.

          • Yeah, you could try that but it’s a slippery and unproductive slope with very marginal returns in my opinion. Setbacks for noise are greater than setbacks for anything else because noise is the only real concern. If it isn’t above noise requirements for the jurisdiction it is very unlikely to affect property values unless it’s a property hosting a wind turbine in which case values go up.

  • JamesWimberley

    This won’t stop the anti-windies. They have a deep aesthetic revulsion to wind turbines, which (as the house price data show) is not widely shared. To get traction for this minority prejudice with the wider public, they have to invent myths of illness, property price spirals, and the like. I’m sorry for them, but I wish they would give up their hopeless and demeaning crusade..

    • Bob_Wallace

      Name a technology. You’ll most likely find a very small fringe group donning tin foil hat and snatching up keyboard to oppose it.

      • Ronald Brakels

        Yeah… South Australia, Tasmania, Australian Capital territory – no coal industry = Windpower.
        Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia – Massive coal industries = No or almost no windpower.
        There’s probably something a little bit more than just fringe lunacy going on here.

        • HarbourD

          The Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, Canada has a wind-ninny problem as well!

        • Alen

          You have summarised and concluded something that is ridiculously obvious to many and yet our politicians still act as if there is no connection between the two and often blatantly feed us lies, just to keep a select few (FF invested interest) appeased.
          How frustrating it is to see us held back from so many benefits, health, economic, environmental and social in general because of just these few.

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