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Wind farms DON'T hurt house prices: Towering turbines 'have no significant effect' on property values, claims study


12-11-2014

 

By Ellie Zolfagharifard for MailOnline
 

A number of politicians have described wind farms as a blight on the landscape a sight so 'appalling', they could slash the value of your home by a third.

But new market research in Canada has revealed that these towering turbines have no effect on property values of nearby homes, commercial properties or farms.

The researchers hope that their unexpected results may help resolve some heated debates about the use of wind farms near residential areas.

Hot air: New market research in Canada has revealed that towering wind turbines have no effect on property values of nearby homes, commercial properties or farms

Hot air: New market research in Canada has revealed that towering wind turbines have no effect on property values of nearby homes, commercial properties or farms

The study, by the University of Guelph, looked at more than 7,000 homes and farm sales in 11 townships in Ontario, Canada.

This included Melancthon, which is home to one of Ontario's first and largest wind farms after 133 turbines were erected there between 2005 and 2008.

Researchers looked at sales data over an eight-year period - from 2002 to 2010 - to capture property values before, during and after the wind farm's development.

During that period, more than 1,000 homes and farms were resold - some multiple times. And in every case, they found wind farms had 'no statistically significant effect' on property values.

The study ontradicts research earlier this year by the London School of Economics (LSE) which found that values of homes within 1.2 miles (1.9km) of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent

The study contradicts research earlier this year by the London School of Economics (LSE) which found that values of homes within 1.2 miles (1.9km) of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent

The researchers had expected to find a negative correlation, especially for residential properties.

'This may help address the controversy that exists in Ontario regarding the impact of wind turbines on property values,' researcher Richard Vyn said.


WIND FARMS SLASH A THIRD OFF HOMES, WARNS MP GEOFFREY COX


Last year, Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP for West Devon and Torridge, said some homes in his area are now worth 'significantly less' thanks to giant turbines, and that it is an 'injustice' that homeowners should lose out while developers and land owners potentially pocket millions.

Mr Cox says proposals for scores of turbines have pushed rural areas to 'tipping point' and has called for a new scheme to compensate those whose homes are affected.

The MP said: 'An increasing number of people are coming to me with clear evidence that the value of their home is significantly less than what it otherwise would be were the wind farm not there.'

He added: 'Im seeing a minimum 10 per cent to 15 per cent reduction. Some are seeing a loss of one-third of the value... How can that be fair?'

'How can it be right that landowners and developers are making millions of pounds, while the ordinary household is losing the value of what is their pension, or nest egg in old age.'
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A current court battle in Ontario about wind energy developments involves families in Huron County and the K2 Wind Energy Power Project.

Across the province, residents have called on the government to delay wind farm development until the impacts are better understood.

But similar opposition to wind farms is taking place across the world. In the UK for instance, nearly 25,000 objections were lodged against proposals to build wind turbines the 'size of skyscrapers' across Scotland.

'It's been in the news for a while now, and it seems to be generating more and more concerns among local residents,' said Vyn.

'I wanted to see whether the stories people are telling and the concerns that they are expressing show up in the sales data.'

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

It contradicts research earlier this year by the London School of Economics (LSE) which found that values of homes within 1.2 miles (1.9km) of large wind farms were being slashed by about 11 per cent.

The study looked at more than a million sales of properties close to wind farm sites over a 12-year period.

This means that if such a wind farm were near an average house in Britain, which now costs almost 250,000 ($391,100), it would lose more than 27,000 ($42,250) in value.

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