Vacant Lots At Half The Price?

In a study of 5,455 vacant lots sold between 2000 and 2016 in Pickens County, S.C., College of Charlestonassistant professors Chris Mothorpe and David Wyman found that vacant lots next to high-voltage transmission towers sold for 45% less than equivalent lots not located near transmission lines. Non-adjacent lots within 1,000 feet of a transmission line sold at a discount of 18%.
While a number of studies show that the proximity of power lines to a built home lowers its real-estate value, the Mothorpe and Wyman’s focus on vacant land eliminates the influence of a built structure on those values. Assuming land represents 20% of the overall value of a home, the authors estimate that a 45% decrease in land values equates roughly to a 9% drop in total property value.
Prof. Mothorpe suggests three main factors driving the discount: health concerns associated with proximity to high-voltage lines (though, as the authors note, researchers have not established solid links between proximity to power lines and health issues); the unattractive views; and, for properties very close to the lines, the humming sound they produce.


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