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Reference information

RICS Report 2004 -Impact of wind farms on the value of residential property and agricultural land


Key statements-

“60% of the sample suggested that wind farms decrease the value of residential properties where the development is within view”

"67% of the sample indicated that the negative impact on property prices starts when a planning application to erect a wind farm is made"


Method - This study was done by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors by contacting estate agents and asking them what the impact of a wind farm was on house prices and land prices. 60% said that house prices decrease when the turbines are within view and 67% say that the decrease starts when the planning application is submitted. They also said that the negative impact on property values continues but becomes less severe two years or so after completion - which could be 10 years in total after including early discussion, the planning applications, planning appeals, delays in starting construction and the actual construction.


The wind farm industry chose to report the results as "a significant minority (40%) thought there was no impact on house prices".

But the majority said that there is a negative impact on property prices so why not report accordingly.

Guide notes

About the surveys

There are several reports about the impact of wind farms on house prices. Many of the studies are funded by either the Wind Industry or Government Agencies with an interest in promoting wind energy.

None produce a result which can be used to predict the value of a house. This is not surprising, property value is what somebody would be prepared to pay for the property.

It is for this reason that some studies use transactional data as the basis of the study i.e the prices at which property sold.

The difficulty with this is that the number of homes sold will always be  a relatively small percentage of the total available.

Prices 10 miles away are not relevant

To get enough data the studies extend over many years or use data out to 10 miles or more from the turbines. At this distance no effect on house values is likely. Furthermore any effect within 1 or 2 miles is likely to be masked because there will be only 4% of the sample within 2 miles if the total survey area is out to 10 miles.

Properties which fail to sell are excluded

Surveys that rely on details from completed sales will always omit those homes that could not be sold. People will not sell if the price on offer is below an acceptable level- because of the proximity of a wind farm. In other words the homes where price is worst affected will be excluded from any studies which use sales data.

Our concern is the impact on houses within 2 km - not 10km

See how the Crystal Rig wind farm compares with Woodlane - we have hundreds of houses within 2km. They have none.

See our graphic comparison.

House prices and Planning

While the value of their property is of major concern to homeowners it is not actually a planning consideration. In other words planners will not take it into account when deciding whether to approve plans for a wind farm.

The surveys - What do they really say ?

Introduction

A lot of work has gone into these studies and they deserve to be read in full. They do not reach simple conclusion and neither do they say that wind farms have no effect on the value of property very close to them.  

Key to the colour coded comments - Headline comments from the report / Methodology used by the survey/ How the wind industry presents the conclusion/Our main concern after reading the report and references to it.

RICS Report 2007 - What is the impact of wind farms on house prices?


Key statement - "Insofar as there was any impact on prices, the results show that it is most noticeable for terraced houses, with there being a significant impact on properties located within a mile of a wind farm"


Method - Rather than asking the opinion of estate agents this study looked at the price that homes actually sold for. On the face of it a more rigorous approach. But on closer examination you find that all homes worth more than £400k were excluded. This would mean that most detached houses were excluded. The study found that terraced houses within 1 mile of a turbine were 54% lower in value and semi detached were 35% lower than houses at 4 miles distance. The findings were then dismissed because most of the houses within one mile of one of the wind farm sites were ex-MOD properties. Surely they knew this before they started the study, so why do it if the results will then be discounted.


The BWEA uses a quote from the report - “proximity to a wind farm simply was not an issue”   Yes this is a quotation from the report but they are part of the answer to a question as to why terraced homes should be 54% lower in price near the wind farm. “ Proximity was not an issue  .... Because the properties “were, in fact, ex-Ministry of Defence properties, and so less desirable than similar properties.”  

Edinburgh Solicitors' Property Centre  2007  -  Impact of wind farms on residential property prices - Crystal Rig Case Study


"The study finds no evidence of a relationship between proximity to a wind farm and changes in property prices. Over the seven year period the average price of property in Dunbar grew by 132.8%, slightly above the regional average of 125.0% recorded across East Lothian"


A very thorough piece of research work, every house sale over a seven year period was examined and the house price trend between East Lothian and the Dunbar area were compared. The nearby wind farm in the study is Crystal Rig. When you look at a map or visit the site as one of our team has done you wonder why so much effort was put into the study. Dunbar is 7 miles from the wind farm. They may as well have looked at the effect of a wind farm near Ferrybridge on house prices in Sherburn. Few if any turbines could be seen from Dunbar so why would the house prices be affected 7 miles away.


A reference to the 2004 RICS study says that it indicted wind farms may have a slight negative effect on nearby house prices. They report that this study does not offer any evidence to support the hypothesis-

This is not surprising, they don't have any data on prices within 2km , with no data they cannot have any evidence. The report has no relevance to those with homes closer than 2km of a proposed wind turbine.


International Journal of Strategic Property Management 2008 - Modelling the impact of wind farms on house prices in the UK


“Whilst no causal link was established between the presence of the wind farm and house price, there was some evidence to suggest that both noise and flicker from the turbine blades could blight certain property and that the view of countryside enjoyed by the occupier had some value which may be affected by a wind farm.”


This was a follow up study of the ex MOD properties that were discounted from the 2007 RICS survey. The objective was to carry out further investigation using a mathematical process called hedonic modelling. The turbines in the study were only 60 metres high and no house had a view of more than three turbines. We are concerned about homes which might have a view of 10 or more 125 metre turbines.


The findings were complex - On the one hand  - No relationship was observed between the number of wind turbines visible and a reduction in value. Nor was there any significant evidence to suggest a relationship between distance to the wind farm and house price.

But then -  The results from the analysis suggest that the main determinants for transaction price in St Eval are, the location within the area, the year of sale, the type of the house, the orientation of the wind farm relative to the front of the house and the interaction between them.

In other words the wind farm does affect the price of houses. We were left wondering who funded the work.

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Graphic comparison

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IJSPM Reports

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