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Wind Farms Wont Hurt Your Property Value

Dec 08, 2014 07:19 PM EST

Worried that those towering wind turbines in the distance are hurting your skyline, and thus your property value? You shouldn't. New market research has revealed that wind farms have no effect on property values of nearby homes or farms at all.

This surprising revelation was recently published in the journal Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics, in the first peer-reviewed study on the subject.

Wind farms have been a hot topic of debate in the past, where many land owners will contend that the government and various green power companies have no right in changing surrounding landscape in ways that would impact the value of their property - at least without restitution. Others have protested the building of wind farms along grass planes or coastal regions, as it is essentially ruining the value of their skyline.

Researchers conducted an analysis of more than 7,000 homes and farm sales in 11 townships in Ontario, Canada. The first and primary focus of this study, the township of Melancthon, also happens to be home to one of Ontario's first and largest wind farms; 133 wind turbines were erected there between 2005 and 2008.

The study looked at sale and property value dating from before these turbines were erected (2002) all the way up to the year 2010.

The researchers then used a method common in real estate studies to calculate various factors that could impact value, including proximity to turbines and wind farm visibility.

"Melancthon Township was one of the first major wind farms in Ontario. Since that time, the attention that the issue has received and the public backlash has really escalated; the wind farms that have developed since then have received a lot more resistance and attention," researcher Richard Vyn said in a statement. "I wanted to see whether the stories people are telling and the concerns that they are expressing show up in the sales data."

It turned out that the results "do not corroborate concerns raised by residents regarding potential negative impacts of turbines on property values," Vyn added.

The assessment found that the turbines had an impact that ranged from insignificant to non-existent on all properties in the area - results that Vyn hopes will be shared with land owners and real-estate agents alike, putting minds at ease.

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