A new study from Lawrence Berkeley National Lab offers fresh insights into the impact of wind farms on the values of nearby homes.
The analysis, “Commercial Wind Turbines and Residential Home Values: New Evidence from the Universe of Land-Based Wind Projects in the United States,” scrutinized a dataset of 500,000 home sales near 428 wind farms across 34 states, spanning from 2005 to 2020. What’s unique here is the timeframe of the study – it covers a period from four years before announcement to more than six years after they began operating.
The construction of wind farms can affect local economies in various ways – job creation, tax revenue, and, yes, home sale prices. While previous studies hadn’t found significant impacts on home values in the US, this new report sheds light on some nuanced trends.
Graph: Berkeley Lab
The study found that home sale prices within one mile of a wind farm tend to dip post-announcement and decrease further during construction. But interestingly, they bounce back to pre-announcement levels within three to five years of the project being online. Homes within a mile of the wind farms saw an average price reduction of around 11%. However, homes located within one to two miles of a commercial wind farm experience much smaller impacts, and homes located farther than two miles away are unaffected.
Another intriguing find is the geographical variation. The impact on home prices was more pronounced in populous counties (those with over 250,000 people) than their rural counterparts. In more rural areas, the study didn’t observe any significant changes in home prices near wind farms.
It’s worth noting that the study didn’t explore certain aspects, like comparing wind communities to non-wind ones or the potential offsetting economic benefits like increased local tax revenue. The researchers hope to tackle these in future studies.
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