EXPERIENCED rural valuer Alan Hives believes wind farms affect some property values.
Mr Hives is a partner in the Ballarat-based Leader Property Practice valuation firm and has concentrated on rural valuations for 27 years.
“I have been involved in numerous valuations of properties affected by wind farms over the last decade or so,” Mr Hives said.
He said there was not much hard evidence available yet that proved whether values of rural properties located near wind farms consistently declined or increased in his western Victoria area of operation.
However Mr Hives said his experience and observations of the rural property market told him that wind farms have become another factor that must be taken into account when valuing certain properties.
He said market perception shows wind farms located near some rural properties had stalled some sales, in particular lifestyle and hobby farm properties.
He said he believed the properties least affected by wind farms were productive agricultural operations.
“The market evidence to date has generally not suggested significant falls in value in and around wind farms,” Mr Hives said.
“We have found that the lifestyle properties are detrimentally affected to the greatest degree.
“Productivity values do not appear to be impacted by wind farms nearby.”
He said where there was an aesthetic value attributed to a rural property, and these qualities were affected, then that element of value is likely to be reduced by wind farms located nearby.
“Where the aesthetic values (views etc) are greatest then the impact is likely to be the greatest,” Alan said.
He said this would apply to the smaller hobby farm types where property values cannot be justified on a production value basis.
Mr Hives said wind farms were not the only factor to be considered when a rural property was valued.
He said the effects of a wind farm on rural property values were at the “fine tuning end” of the value equation and were only one factor in a valuation, not the primary determinant of value.
Rural properties that are involved in broad scale production with no houses were unlikely to suffer any negative impact on values he said.
Mr Hives said experience taught him that placing wind turbines on a farm would enhance its value in some circumstances and detract from it in others.
He cited an example of a property with 12 turbines and all weather 75 tonne access road that was built on a rocky grazing property with particularly difficult access that resulted in a significant improvement in its value.
He said these constructions had enhanced this farms value as it improved access and provided a substantial cash flow not dependant on commodity prices, weather or management ability.
Mr Hives said in another example of a cropping property with multiple towers he was aware the construction of the towers reduced the arable land available and the towers presence restricted aerial spraying so this detrimentally affected the property’s value.