New Study Finds Wind Turbines Do Not Reduce MA Property Values

Relationship between Wind Turbines and Residential Property Values in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center commissioned this report to study whether home values were affected by proximity to wind turbines. An analysis of more than 122,000 Massachusetts home sales between 1998 and 2012 found no statistically-significant evidence that proximity to a wind turbine affects home values.

Methodology and Key Findings:

  • Study analyzed more than 122,000 Massachusetts homes sales between 1998 and 2012.
  • Home sales analyzed were within five miles of current or future locations of 41 wind turbines across the Commonwealth.
  • The study found that homes close to turbines sold as frequently as homes farther away.
  • The study also compared (see chart below) the relationship between wind turbines and residential home values to those of factors previously shown to affect home prices, including high-voltage transmission lines, landfills, highways, protected open space and proximity to beachfront.
Bill Carson January 10, 2014 at 09:34 PM
Also : the report compares only sales prices and makes no mention of properties still on the market or removed from the market because there's no chance of a sale.
Blowin Smoke January 11, 2014 at 06:08 AM
114 Ambleside Drive sold on July 25, 2013 for $423,400 or 7.5% higher than its assessed value of $394,300. That property is 1520 feet from Wind 2 and is one of the closest homes to the municipal turbines in Falmouth. (per Mr. Zweig's post 9/10/13)
mark cool January 11, 2014 at 01:15 PM
A percentage above or below property assessed value is a meaningless number without the context of 114 Ambleside Drive's ...days on market, market history (i.e. listed then unlisted etc), whether a sale price positive/negative was realized relative sales comparibles of other properties in the area... etc. Blowin's weak argument is unable to account or quantify "ALL" aspects of property valuation impact. This is the job conducted by a professional appraiser. It'll be very interesting to soon receive the review of this flawed study and it's methodologies by the Mass Board of Professional Appraisers.
mark cool January 12, 2014 at 01:07 AM
It's interesting that the study's researchers would conclude that “The results of this study do not support the claim that wind turbines affect nearby home prices.“ (second paragraph, page 36 - conclusion). Oddly after stating in the paragraph immediately preceding - “Nuisances from turbine noise and shadow flicker might be Especially Relevant in urban settings where other negative features, such as landfills or high voltage utility lines, have been shown to reduce home prices.” If some form of journalist investigation were conducted, the finding would be that 21 of the 41 Massachusetts municipalities hosting wind turbines have official nuisance complaints submitted by turbine neighbors. Two appeals recently reviewed by local regulatory authority have been upheld, and the trend for relief is growing (evidenced by a state superior court injunction order restricting turbine operation due to nuisance). A growing number of aggrieved Commonwealth Citizens (not just in Falmouth) are queuing-up to have their appeals heard. Of course, this nuisance stigma is outside the scope of this particular research. Though the researchers do admit, if nuisance exists, it would implicate the study's conclusion. It seems the 'devil in the details' will ultimately shed better light on this subject, likely making the study --- 'a horse of a different color.'
Bill Carson January 12, 2014 at 09:23 AM
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center also previously known as the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative has a long history of producing reports with contradictions and missing information or just using initials in reports to hide information. The most famous hiding of information in 2005 was the embarrassing Fatal Flaws Analysis for a Wind Turbine done for Mattapoisett, Marion & Rochester. The report was so bad they gave up trying to place a wind turbine near 300 homes in an area just like Falmouth. The report asked in it are there any IBA areas. Next to the box that said IBA there was the word NO. There was no explanation of what IBA meant in the report. After researching what the capitol letters IBA actually meant, Important Bird Area people started to look deeper into the report. The location of the proposed wind turbine in Mattapoisett had an island in Buzzards Bay 1/2 mile offshore that was the chief nesting area of the Roseate Terns in North America. When confronted at a public the director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative said that they paid engineering students at the University of Massachusetts to build the report and it was not there fault. The wind turbine project was dropped several days later. Falmouth is only finding out now how the semi quasi state agency prepares reports


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