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Peter Reardon's valuation of wind farm land

One of the Wind Power Ethics pages*

Peter Reardon released a report that he wrote on land values near wind farms in September 2013. This page shows that Mr Reardon's study has little if any value, is highly biased and quite wrong. In spite of the lack of credibility in Mr Reardon's report it has been enthusiastically grasped by several wind farm opponents who plainly have low standards for their 'evidence' are are happy to 'cherry pick'.

Cherry picking is the selection of evidence that suits ones preconceptions while ignoring all the evidence that is contrary. Wind power opponents often use cherry picking.

Written 2013/12/13, modified 2014/01/10
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – ©
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The author of these pages has no financial connection to either side of the wind power 'debate' and is entirely independent.

Wind energy opposition


 
Median prices for Cape Bridgewater/Cape Nelson – commissioned 2008/09
Median prices
 
Median prices for Challicum Hills – commissioned 2003
Median prices
 
Median prices for Codrington – commissioned 2001
Median prices
 
Median prices for Toora – commissioned 2002
Median prices
 
Median prices for Waubra – commissioned 2009
Median prices
 
Median prices for Wonthaggi – commissioned 2005
Median prices
 
Median prices for Yambuk – commissioned 2007
Median prices
The overwhelming bulk of the evidence on land prices and wind farms tells us that the presence of a wind farm has very little effect on land values. For example, the US Berkeley Laboratory analysed more than 50 000 home sales near 67 wind facilities in 27 counties across nine US states, yet was unable to uncover any impacts to nearby home property values. See Into The Wind, 2013/08/26.

The graphs on the right were created using data from propertyvalue.com.au by Victorian Greens MP Greg Barber (see here). Each is in an area where a wind farm has been built. The graphs clearly show that there are no long-term declines in land values associated with wind farms. I have produced similar graphs from South Australian property values (using realestate.com.au), but as they all show the same trend as Greg's graphs it seems superflous to display them here.

I have written at some length elsewhere on these pages about land values and wind farms.

Mr Reardon's study

The Financial Review on 2013/10/14 published a piece on registered land valuer Peter Reardon who produced a report stating that land values can fall by 30% or even 60% due to nearby wind farms. Not surprisingly this report has been spread around by those who oppose wind power including Federal Liberal politician Angus Taylor who is not averse to cherry picking of evidence. A critique of the study can be read on Renew Economy.

How many properties near wind farms were involved in Mr Reardons study? Three. (One of which did not show any decrease in value, according to Mr Reardon.)

How were the properties chosen? We were not told.

What other factors might have been involved in the perceived values of the properties? This is where it gets interesting.

Cullerin

One of the properties that Mr Reardon claimed showed a marked decrease in value due to its proximity to a wind farm was named 'Cullerin' (lots 21, 22, 24 and 25, Hume Highway and Lerida Road). Mr Reardon stated that Cullerin has the Hume Highway passing through it. This is probably the busiest interstate highway in Australia, with trucks going through at all hours of the day and the night. Certainly any sound from the wind farm would not be a problem, no-one would hear the turbines because of the traffic noise.

Mr Reardon writes about the properties in the area being attractive to 'tree changers' and people looking for a country 'retreat'. Who would want a hobby farm within a few hundred metres of the noisiest highway in the nation?

Since the original writing of this piece further information has come to me via a third party and apparently from the new owner of the 'Cullerin' property. It seems that it is bisected by not only one (as Reardon stated) but two high voltage power lines; not only is the highway passing through, but there are also two truck parking bays (so there would be trucks starting and stopping, with all the noise associated, at any time of the day and night) and 30% of the block has water-logging and drainage problems.

Also, from another source I have been informed that there is no power available to the property (and that getting it on would quite probably cost around $100k) and the drainage line that runs through the block makes it very difficult and costly to build access to the south-western portion of the block – which is the only place suitable for a dwelling. Is it at all surprising that this block had a low market price?
 
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Taylors Creek Road, Tarago

The other property that Mr Reardon said had its value reduced by its proximity to wind turbines was 243 Taylors Creek Road, Tarago. Mr Reardon reported it was sold for $250 000, however it is listed in Tarago Real Estate as having been sold for $295 000.

The following came to me indirectly on 2013/11/06 and I was told it was from the agent that sold the Taylors Creek Road property:

"I was the selling agent for the Taylors creek road property and can confirm the sale price of $295,000. I have seen Peter's report before and upon reading it I phoned him to point out the mistake. He said that he would correct it, but I guess some original publications are being used?

The property in my opinion was overstocked and generally in a bad state of repair including fencing/weeds and, mains power connection would be expensive, due to distance. I had the property on the market for 4 months and of the 3 genuine inquiries, none were concerned about the close proximately of the turbines to the western boundary. All were concerned about the cost to improve the pasture, fencing and rubbish removal."
The NSW Planning Assessment commission also noted that the Taylors Creek property was infested with serrated tussock – which is defined by the NSW Department of Primary Industry as "a perennial, drought-resistant, highly invasive tussock-forming grass which is a serious weed in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa".

The graphs on the right were created using data from propertyvalue.com.au by Victorian Greens MP Greg Barber (see here). Each is in an area where a wind farm has been built. The graphs clearly show that there are no long-term declines in land values associated with wind farms.

 
House prices at Edithburgh
House prices at Edithburgh
Edithburgh is the closest South Australian town to a wind farm, Wattle Point, which was completed in 2005.
The graphs above were all from Victoria. This graph is of house prices in a South Australian town, uses values from realestate.com.au, and shows that prices there were not adversely affected either. No other sizable town in SA is within 3km of a wind farm.



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