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House prices unaffected by wind farms

Words: Huw Morris
A wind farm and houses

Wind farms have no significant impact on average house prices within five kilometres of the site, according to new research conducted in England and Wales.

A study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research for RenewableUK looked into whether house prices were affected at key stages of a wind farm's development - when plans are announced, when construction begins, when the wind farm goes operational and after it has been installed.

The research, which used Land Registry data from 1995 to 2013, covered more than 82,000 property transactions within a five kilometre radius of seven wind farms throughout England and Wales, covering areas of 79 square kilometres per site.

The study found the average annual increase in house prices was 0.8 per cent compared to 0.5 per cent for the county where the scheme was sited. Prices saw two per cent higher annual growth in the period after construction to the present day.

Of the seven sites investigated, only Kiln Pit Hill in Northumberland showed an initial substantial downturn in prices but these later recovered.

Local job opportunities, the state of the housing market and the nationwide economic cycle determined how house prices performed, the study said.

“This is the first deep dive into real data on this issue," said RenewableUK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery. "At last we have a detailed independent analysis into what actually happens to property prices before, during and after wind farms are constructed, over a period of nearly twenty years."