Sunday 8 December 2019

Pylons have "no significant effect" on property prices

Pylons on farmland in Co Kildare. A report has found that their presence has little effect on property prices
Pylons on farmland in Co Kildare. A report has found that their presence has little effect on property prices

Peter Flanagan

Pylons built near homes have little or no effect on property prices, a new study has claimed.

The research, which was commissioned by infrastructure company Eirgrid, found that the presence of pylons or overhead electricity lines had "no significant impact" on the sale prices of residential and farm properties around the country.

The report contradicts opponents of pylons who have long criticised the presence of them and power lines built close to homes.

The report, which focused only on what effect pylons may have on property prices and no other potential ramifications, found that the fear about pylons hurting property prices was incorrect.

The "perception of potential decreases in sales value as a result of high-voltage overhead lines close to property far outweighs the reality borne out in actual sales data," it said.

"Internationally, approximately half of the available studies on the issue found no impact on property values; the remaining 50pc were generally low, in the region of 3pc to 6pc," it said.

The report, which was compiled by Insight Statistical Consulting and Corr Commercial Land, looked at published international research, sales data for residential and farm property properties in Ireland, and a survey of the views of 45 Irish estate agents.

Even though the statistics showing almost no change to house sale prices when pylons were near by, estate agents made clear they felt that wires and other infrastructure projects would hurt sale prices, despite little evidence of that being the case.

Co-author of the report professor Cathal Walsh, who is chair of statistics and director of the Centre for Health Decision Science at University of Limerick, said the research should "provide comfort for property and landowners near large, planned infrastructural projects".

He acknowledged though that there is little in the way of data available for assessment at the moment.

"In the estate agent survey we looked at nine types of types of infrastructure projects, and the agents expressed a view that there would be a negative impact on property value located close to any major infrastructural development," he said.

"However, when we reviewed the sales data from the same estate agents of property and land situated close to transmission lines, it did not support this anecdotal view," he said.

Pylons have long been among the most controversial of infrastructure projects in Ireland, particularly in rural parts of the country where there has been fierce opposition.

Sunday Independent

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