Researchers try to hide the truth about property value loss and wind turbines

Figures presented show actual loss of $25 billion in property value for U.S. houses near wind turbines

A team of researchers tried to use massive data to hide the real effect of wind turbines on property value. It didn’t work. [Shutterstock image]

In March, 2024, the science journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences or PNAS, published a paper on wind turbines and property value loss.

Titled, “The visual effect of wind turbines on property value is small and diminishing in space and time,” that article concluded that any property value loss seen because of the presence of wind turbines is very, very small, and disappears over time.

And the authors (all “environmental” economists) must be right because they studied THREE HUNDRED MILLION PROPERTIES!!!

Are they right?

Is there no loss in value to neighbouring properties where industrial scale wind turbines have been built?

No.

Of course not.

But they went to great lengths to prove their point.

We contacted London area real estate appraiser and consultant Ben Lansink for his opinion on the paper and he quipped, “With selected [data] and a lot of input, mathematics can prove any issue.” *

A lot of work to hide the truth

We also asked Ottawa real estate consultant and valuation expert Norris Wilson for his opinion, and he prepared a detailed rebuttal of the PNAS paper.

It is a piece of work, Wilson says, employing various creative strategies to hide the truth.

“…by careful selection of data the authors have engaged in statistical sleight-of-hand. Using visibility as the only criterion for assessing property value loss allowed the researchers to screen out some homes near turbines which have no view of a turbine but may nevertheless be exposed to noise from them.  In spite of this, they include these properties in the control group.  This does not mean they are not affected.  Including them in the control group has the effect of lowering the average price of control group properties, thus skewing the average impact downward artificially.”

So, the study authors created a huge database of properties which they claim to have studied, which serves to average down any impact, he says.

“…salting the sample with a preponderance of properties, which are far enough away (3-10 km) as to be minimally affected by noise, if at all, and overwhelmingly large in number, is another strategy employed to average down the impact on the properties much closer to the turbines than 10 km.”

Astonishing figures

But what about the THREE HUNDRED MILLION properties?

“The claim that the data base behind the analysis was 300 million sales is completely false,” Wilson asserts.

“The number 300 million is astonishing, and one would venture to say, impossible. For the database to be 300 million transactions, the entire inventory of homes in the U.S. would have to have turned over twice in roughly 20 years.”

“The truth is, the analysts cite a data base of 8.5 million houses within 10 km of a wind turbine as their sample for analysis, not 300 million.”

As a result of  all the sleight-of-hand, the authors come up with a property value loss of an average of 1.12 percent.

But it gets worse: if you accept their figures and analysis, the conclusion is that the property value loss (to 2020) amounts to $25 billion. And a staggering amount for individual property owners.

Here’s what common sense tell us:

“Property value loss of $25 billion when applied to 60,000 turbines represents a property value loss to private individuals of $416,666 per turbine. Most of the loss must have been borne by the 250,000 sales within 1.5 km of a turbine, which reflects $100,000 per property or about 25% of property value on average.”

When the study was released a few weeks ago, many media outlets picked it up including Forbes.com  Obviously, the giant wind power lobby public relations machine was anxious to get this story out there to counter any criticisms of industrialization of communities by wind turbines.

In fact, it only took the study authors two paragraphs to get to the ultimate wind power lobby insult for hapless property owners: NIMBY.

Too bad they fell on their own swords and actually prove what they said was not the case.

Wind turbines do cause property value loss. And it’s not nothing.

Read Norris Wilson’s paper here:

FINAL-Rebuttal PNAS visual effects of wind turbines on property values-April-2024

contact@windconcernsontario.ca

*Mr. Lansink completed a study of his own in 2014 that concluded significant property value loss, after he examined properties near Melancthon, Ontario, Canada. The study is available here: Lansink-McCann-Gulden-Reviews-MPAC-June-2014.pdf (wind-watch.org)

The Ontario Superior Court accepted Mr Lansink’s work in a 2015 court case, that property value loss could be 20-50 percent. Wind turbines have reduced property values, court says (thestar.com)

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