Wind Energy Projects and Property Values

Do Wind Turbines Lower Property Values?

Some communities have expressed concerns about the potential effect that wind turbine installations could have on local property values. Several peer-reviewed, U.S.-focused research studies on this topic find that while wind turbines generally do not have any widespread, long-term impact on property values, the construction of a wind farm close (~1 mile) to residences in more populated areas can have a short-term impact on property values.

In 2013, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) conducted a study regarding how utility-scale wind energy development affects house prices. The authors collected data on nearly 7,500 sales of single-family homes situated within 10 miles of 24 existing wind energy facilities in nine U.S. states. This work, titled The Impact of Wind Power Projects on Residential Property Values in the United States: A Multi-Site Hedonic Analysis, found that if property value impacts existed, they were too small and/or too infrequent to result in any widespread, statistically observable impact.

Follow-up studies in 2015 and 2016 published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and the Journal of Real Estate Research, respectively, found similar results, stating that “no unique impact on the rate of home sales near wind turbines” was found (see References for the full journal articles).

In 2023, Berkeley Lab published its most comprehensive study to date on wind energy projects and their impact on house prices, with data spanning 34 states, 428 unique wind projects, and nearly half a million transactions within 5 miles of U.S. wind projects. The authors found that property value effects were evident beginning after the project was announced and continuing through the construction period, but abated three to five years after operation began. These effects were concentrated in counties with higher population densities and were not evident in rural areas.

Although wind energy projects may not lower property values for the long term or in rural areas broadly, there is some anecdotal evidence that indicates individual homes or neighborhoods can be affected on a small scale. For example, myths claiming that wind turbines negatively impact property values can cause buyer apprehension that lowers home prices in the time right after a public wind energy project is announced, though home price reductions that may have occurred do not continue for an extended period after operation begins (see references).

Resources on wind energy projects, proper siting, and setback ordinances are available to the public that can address concerns people may have about wind energy impacting property values. Find out more here.

References