GRAND BEND – If you can see a wind turbine from your window, chances are your house is going to sell for a lot less money than you want.
That’s the message Doug Pedlar, a real estate broker with ReMax in Grand Bend, brought to about 300 people in the village recently. Pedler talked with a number of real estate professionals across the province about the impact of industrial wind turbines on home sales and found studies about the subject from around the world. He says in general, the value of a home within view of the rotating blades takes longer to sell and could sell for 30 percent less than market value.
Pedlar says in one case in Simcoe, a real estate agent was trying to sell a 25 acre vacant hobby farm with a wind turbine behind it. He listed the lakeview property for about $149,000, expecting to sell it for about $135,000. Six months later he finally got an offer of $65,000. All seven of the potential buyers asked the agent about the wind turbine.
In Kincardine, Pedlar says, four homeowners experiencing health affects near Suncor’s Ripley wind project sold their homes to the company. The company has only been able to sell one of those properties.
And then there was the older couple looking at a property in Zurich who went out the back door of the house to see if they could see the wind turbine. “They said, ‘If we can see the turbine, we’re not buying it.’ I hate to tell them, but soon they’ll be able to see lots (of turbines),” says Pedlar.
The broker says the problem is the same around the world. A study in Wisconsin showed homes in the wind turbine area “sold for less and less homes were sold with between a 20 and 70 percent reduction in land value.”
And he says a study in a popular tourist area in England, similar to Grand Bend, showed tourist don’t like the massive machines either. “Less than 50 percent said they would come if there were wind turbines,” says Pedlar.
“Are wind farms going to affect our area? Absolutely.”