GUELPH Wind turbines have little impact on property values, says a new study from a University of Guelph assistant professor and a Health Canada policy analyst.
The study, titled The Effects of Wind Turbines on Property Values in Ontario, looked at 5,414 rural residential sales and 1,590 farmland sales between January 2002 and April 2010, in Melancthon Township and 10 surrounding communities, about an hour north of Guelph.
Melancthon Township is home to a 133-wind turbine project that was constructed between 2005 and 2008.
Authors Richard Vyn and Ryan McCullough looked at the impact of a propertys proximity to turbines, as well as the visibility of turbines from a property, and concluded “these turbines have not impacted the value of surrounding properties.” The two say the results surprised even them, given all the media attention to turbines over the last few years.
The eight years of data found that 797 properties sold twice, 114 sold three times and 12 sold four times. When it comes to farms, 131 farms sold twice, and 10 sold three times. Among properties sold more than once, there was no significant decrease in sale price, the researchers say.
However, when broken down into sales of pre- and post-turbine sales, plus proximity to the turbines, there were too few sales to detect any significant effects the turbines may have had on the sales, which they say “represents a major limitation of this analysis.”
For example, for post-turbine construction, there were only 10 homes and two farms that were repeat sales that were within one kilometre of a turbine.
Vyn and McCullough created six different models to account for the impact of wind turbines on property values, but all six models show “no statistically significant effect” on property values.
The authors plan to expand their study to all of Ontario. Their study first appeared in the Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics.