Buyouts and Resales

I think it a moral imperative that if your industrial project causes significant problems for the neighbors you ought to buy them out. Unfortunately, morals are in short supply in the wind energy industry and there is a history of their fighting the neighbors tooth and nail before doing so. And even in doing so the old owners are always (as far as I can tell) contractually restricted from talking about the problems and the new neighbors (if the property is resold) are restricted from complaining about any aspect of the wind project’s operation.

In spite of the industry’s attempts to keep these buyouts and resales secret, land purchases are generally public records and usually include the price.  So far I have come across a total of six buyouts where presumably the original owner was paid something approximating a pre-project fair market value and the property was subsequently sold to a third party for the presumably new fair market value.

The industry has consistently maintained that their projects do not affect home prices.  If that were so, we’d expect there to be little change in the old and new fair market values.  When you stop laughing, below is a chart of the six resales.  The first two are from Somerset, Pennsylvania in 2002 and the last four are from Melancthon, Ontario in 2009 (click to enlarge).

Now, a sample size of 6 is pretty small, but what are the odds on all 6 moving in the same direction, and by such rather large amounts?  If you think wind turbines have no effect on house prices how do you explain these numbers?

The most common attempt is to say the recession (or something, anything else) caused it.  If that were true we’d expect the effect to be noticeable on house prices in general.  So what about Pennsylvania in 2002?  Here’s the trend chart from Trulia, with 2002 marked.

And what about Ontario in 2009?  Here’s some numbers from Scotia.

In neither case did the overall housing market decline during the periods where these transactions took place.  So much for the overall market decline theory.

These kind of unsupported and ultimately false assertions are typical of wind energy proponents’ claims, and not just with regard to property values.  They will say whatever they can think of to blame whatever the problem is on something other than their treasured wind turbines, with no regard to it being true.

2 thoughts on “Buyouts and Resales”

  1. Sample of 6 resales (12 sales) too small? That is not a given.

    Billions in home loans were based on 3 or 4 “comps”, which is all that’s necessary if an appraiser uses GOOD comparable data. 7,000 sales from 5+ miles away and little if any turbine influence is, quite simply, statistically misleading and irrelevant to the question of impacts within 2 miles or so.

    Once again Wayne, you have hit the nail squarely on the head!

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