New Study of Massachusetts Home Sales Finds No Evidence of an Impact on Property Values from Wind Turbines

Analysis of over 120,000 Massachusetts property transactions compares sales before and after turbine construction
Jan 9, 2014 –
BOSTON

An independent analysis released today has found no statistically-significant evidence that proximity to a wind turbine affects home values.

The report, written by researchers from the University of Connecticut and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, examined 122,000 Massachusetts real estate transactions between 1998 and 2012. It compared transactions within a half-mile of constructed wind turbines to similar transactions between one half-mile and five miles away.

“Properly-sited renewable energy projects like wind turbines can deliver clean energy for our citizens and boost our local economy,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton.  “This report is designed to provide fact-based research to inform decision-makers on potential impacts wind turbines could have on nearby property.”

The study, commissioned by MassCEC, was co-authored by Carol Atkinson-Palombo, assistant professor of geography at the University of Connecticut, and Ben Hoen, staff research associate of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and was peer-reviewed by a number of leading economists and appraisers before release.

It compares the relationship between wind turbines and residential home values to those of factors previously shown to affect home prices, like high-voltage transmission lines, landfills, highways, protected open space and proximity to beaches.

Of the impacts studied, landfills and transmission lines have the greatest negative impact (or disamenity) on home prices while beachfront and proximity to beaches were found to have the greatest positive impact (or amenity) on home prices.  The study found that operating turbines have a +0.5 percent amenity which falls within the study’s margin of error.

Massachusetts has expanded the number of wind energy projects in the state from just 3 MW and three turbines installed in 2007 to more than 100 MW and dozens of turbines installed now throughout the Commonwealth. This study builds upon the Patrick Administration’s focus on providing municipalities and developers with the research they need to make informed decisions on these types of projects.

To download the report, please visit www.masscec.com/content/relationship-between-wind-turbines-and-residential-property-values-massachusetts.

A webinar with the study’s authors will be held at 12:30 p.m. on January 22. For more information, or to register, visit https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/162511015.