The issue of the potential impact of wind farm developments on house prices has been raised in relation to wind farm developments across Scotland. The Scottish Government asked ClimateXChange to manage a research project looking at the impact based on a similar study in England.

The project set out to test whether there is a significant difference in the average house price growth of properties in close proximity to a wind farm compared with properties that are not near a wind farm. The analysis takes into account the dates when individual turbines become operational, taking into account the before and after effects of wind turbine construction.

The study includes data for the whole of mainland Scotland for the time period 1990-2014, and looks at the impact of both single turbines and whole wind farms. The analysis was conducted on postcode averages and using methods that follow individual dwellings over time, as well as the effects of properties having a view of the turbine(s) compared to proximity alone. Natural landscape and built environment have been taken into account when estimating whether an individual dwelling can see a wind farm or individual wind turbine.

The findings do not point to a consistent pattern of impact, and, in particular, there are no consistent negative effects on house price growth from being situated near to a wind farm. This lack of a consistent pattern is likely due to the range of factors that affect house prices simultaneously, and to varying degrees in different locations.

The project improves on an earlier methodology used in analysing wind farm impacts on house prices by using more precise ways of calculating the visibility of turbines. The methodology can be used for future analysis of the impact of wind farm developments (or indeed other developments) on house prices. The report shows how the results vary across different specifications of the analysis. The main computer code used to compile, link, clean and analyse the data will be made freely available to researchers and interested parties.

The project was funded by the Scottish Government and managed by ClimateXChange with the research team led from Sheffield University. The research was carried out in collaboration with the AQMeN research centre which is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).